Thomas Mutter Allison


THOMAS MUTTER ALLISON, M.D., has been engaged in the practice of medicine at Kittanning, Armstrong county, for a period of forty years ---throughout his professional career. He was born Feb. 28, 1849, at Elderton, Armstrong Co., Pa., son of Dr. Thomas Hederson and Mary Margaret (McFadden) Allison, and is of Scotch descent, his grandfather, Thomas Allison, having been born in Scotland.

Thomas Allison was fourteen years of age when he came to the United States, and first lived at Washington, in Washington county, Pa. He eventually entered the ministry of the Seceder Church, and became one of the prominent and influential clergymen of that denomination in his day. He was for many years pastor of the Mount Hope Seceder Church in Washington county, and he is buried in the Mount Hope cemetery. He died about 1840. His wife, whose maiden name was Henderson, was of Washington county, and they became the parents of nine children that grew to maturity. Mrs. Allison survived her husband for several years.

Thomas Henderson Allison was born June 29, 1820, near West Middletown, Washington Co., Pa. After recieving his primary education in a subscription school he attended Florence Academy, and later Franklin College, at New Athens, Ohio. He began the study of medicine under Dr. A.C. Hamilton, of West Middletown, and in 1854 was graduated from Jefferson Medical College, after which he began practice at Murrysville, Pa. Remaining there a little over a year, he removed thence to Elderton, Armstrong Co., Pa., where he was located until the summer of 1862. At that time he became acting assistant surgeon at the Hammond general hospital at Point Lookout, Md. During the invasion of the State of Pennsylvania Dr. Allison was commissioned surgeon, and he was with the 29th Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment. On resuming private practice in 1867 he settled at Kittanning, Armstrong county, where he remained for over a quarter of a century, and he was not only foremost in his profession in this section but thoroughly associated with local interests in various other connections as well. For a number of years he served as Untited States examing surgeon for pensions, was for many years surgeon of the Allegheny Valley Railway Company, was a member of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society and a member of the Armstrong County Medical Society. Becoming interested in fine stock farming he introduced into Armstrong county at an early day some high-class Jersey and Aberdeen Angus cattle, as well as Spanish Merino, Shropshire and Dorest Horned sheep, and he belonged to the American Jersey Cattle Club and the American Shropshire Sheep Record Association, the American Aberdeen Angus Association and the Dorest Horned Sheep Association. His interest in public affairs led him into taking part in the local government, and he served three years as president of the Kittanning council. For several years he was president of the Allegheny Valley Bank. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and was an honorable member of the Bankers' and Bank Clerks' Mutual benefit Association of Pittsburgh, Pa. For many years he was a member of the M.E. Church.

On Sept. 24, 1843, Dr. Allison married Mary Margaret McFadden, and of the children born to them, three, two sons and one daughter, died in childhood from malignant diphtheria. The third child, Adele, grew to womanhood and died in California in 1866, while on a visit there, from typhoid fever. Laura Ione married James S. Moore, of Buffalo, N.Y., now deceased, who was a soldier in the Civil war; Thomas Mutter completes the family.

Thomas McFadden, grandfather of Mrs.Mary Margaret (McFadden) Allison, was a native of Ireland, and spent all his life in that counry. His son James McFadden was born in County Down, Ireland, and was about fourteen years old when he came to the United States. He settled at Washington, Pa., and in after years became a successful merchant. He married Margaret Stewart, and they reared a family of ten children, Mary Margaret, who married Dr. Thomas H. Allison, being the third in order of birth.

Galbraith Stewart, father of Mrs Margaret (Stewart) McFadden, was born Dec. 26, 1766, in America, and was named Galbraith in honor of his maternal grandmother, Rebecca Galbraith. The warm blood of irish patriots coursed through the veins of this pioneer, a worthy representative of his race. He learned the blacksmith's trade, and in early manhood, on April 7, 1791, married Elizabeth Scott, a native of Scotland, then a resident of Mount Hope, Washington Co., Pa., the younger of two children born to Richard and Elinor Scott, of Scotland. She was of pure highland Scotch blood, her parents coming from influential clans. Her father's brother was Thomas Scott, the well known Episcopal clergyman and Bible commentator. Richard Scott was born in 1731 in Scotland, and his wife Elinor was born in 1733. They left their native land for America, bringing with them their son John, born in 1762, and a daughter Elizabeth, born Oct. 31, 1768. The voyage had a sad ending, Richard Scott being drown in landing at NovaScotia. His wife survived only until 1775, thus leaving the children orphaned at an early age. Most of the family treasure was lost in a fire, the only thing saved being a piece of linen which was probably being worn by elizabeth the day of the fire. This piece of linen, embroidered with the family crest, she preserved. United States Senator Nathan B. Scott, of West Virginia, who was a desecendant of this branch of the Scott family, has in his possession a sleeve button which was worn by the Richard Scott who brought his family to America; the Senator also remembers being shown a napkin with the crest of Richard Scott's family embroidered theron. Elizabeth Scott was brought to Pennsylvania by an uncle, and there grew to womanhood.

Galbraith Stewart secured a large tract of land lying north of the present site of West Middletown, of which town he was practically the founder, and after his marriage erected a shop and the first cabin at that point. It was on the north side of the road much traveled by emigrants for Ohio county, Va., and was for some time the only building in the neighborhood. Thus there was plenty of work for the smith, and as time passed the place became a stopping point for the westward bound emigrants, so much so that Mr. Stewart erected a commodious house for the accomodation of travelers. In time he gave up his work in the blacksmith shop as his duties in the tavern increased. He prospered, erected several other buildings, and thus formed the nucleus of what has since become West Middletown. Eleven children were born to this union, ten of whom reached maturity; three sons and seven daughters, namely; William married Mary Cummins; Benjamin married Elizabeth Acheson; Galbraith married Phoebe McKeever; Eleanor married Thomas Boon; Mary married Thomas McCall; Eliza married Dr. David Adams; Margaret married James McFadden; Rebecca married David McKennen; Harriet married George Pentecost; Clarissa, who never married, was the last survivor of the family (she lived in Ohio).

Thomas Mutter Allison, son of Dr. Thomas Henderson Allison, received his preliminary education in the common schools of Elderton, after which he was a pupil at Rev. Obediah Miller's Academy, at West Newton, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and later entered Lambeth College, Kittanning, from which latter institution he was graduated in the year 1869. He read medicine with his father, and completed his course at Jefferson Medical College, Phildelphia, graduating in March, 1872. Returning home to Kittanning, he lost no time in getting down to real practice, for within thirty-six hours after his arrival he had visited several of his father's patients.His father having a very large practice, more in fact than he could easily attend to. Dr. Allison has continued his active professional life without interruption to the present, and he has a most extensive patronage. In point of years of practice he is now among the oldest physicians of the county. His son and son-in-law (F.C. Monks, M.D.) also are medical practitioners of Kittanning, and all enjoy a high standing that keeps them busy in the borough and vicinity. Few citizens of this section have won their way more thoroughly into the confidence of their fellow men than Dr. Allison. He is a member of the Armstrong County Medical Society, and of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. He served several years as president and secretary of the county origanization, and is now its treasurer. The Doctor has always been particularly interested in the subject of public education, has served as a member of the borough school board, and has been member of the borough council. For several years he was United States examining surgeon for pensions.

On Dec. 24, 1875, Dr. Allison married Margaret Acheson, daughter of William Acheson, of Kittanning, a prominent citizen of Armstrong county, for several years superintendent of the Monticello Iron Works of Kittanning. Of the five children born to Dr. and Mrs. Allison three died in infancy. The survivors are Mabel A., wife of Dr. F.C. Monks, of Kittanning, and Dr. L.D. Allison, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, of Phildelphia, and now practicing physician of Kittanning; he married Pearl Shaw.

Mrs. Allison's brother, Edward Goodrich Acheson, is one of the foremost inventors in the United States in his line, carborundum graphite, oildag, siloxicon and many compounds of minor importance being the products of his research and experimental work. He has reaped the financial benefit of his discoveries, through which he became immensely wealthy.

Source Pages 406-408 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Rodney G Rosborough for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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