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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William V. Allen

WILLIAM V. ALLEN was born in Midway, Madison County, Ohio, on the 28th of January, 1847, He attended the public schools in Ohio and Iowa and finally the Upper Iowa University but did not take a full college course. His father removed with his family to Iowa in 1857, making his home on a farm near Nevada. When the War of the Rebellion began William, who was but fourteen years af age, enlisted in the Fourteenth Regiment of Volunteers. He was rejected at the mustering in of the regiment on account of his youth. In August, 1862, he again enlisted in Company G, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, was accepted and served to the close of the war. He was in all of the marches and battles of this regiment and the last few months was on the staff of General James I. Gilbert. At the close of the war, Mr. Allen read law with L. L. Ainsworth at West Union, was admitted to the bar in 1869 and at once entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1884 he removed to Madison, Nebraska, and in 1891 was nominated by the Populist party for judge of the Ninth Judicial District and elected. In February, 1893, he was elected by a union of the Populists and Democrats to a seat in the United States Senate. As a judge he had acquired a State-wide reputation and in the Senate he soon attained high rank in debate and was the acknowledged leader of his party in Congress. He served six years in the Senate, and upon the expiration of his term was appointed judge of his old district where he served until December 13, when he was appointed United States Senator to fill the term of Senator Hayward whose death had caused a vacancy. Mr. Allen has served as chairman of four State Conventions of his party in Nebraska and was president of the National Convention at St. Louis in 1896.