In making up the biographical annals of Greene county due mention must be made of the part taken in the affairs of this county by the late Dr. Ira W. Baldwin, veteran of the Civil War, physician, journalist, former postmaster at Yellow Springs and former member of the United States pension board for this county, who died at his home in Xenia early in 1902, and whose widow is still making her home in that city.
Dr. Ira W. Baldwin was a native son of Greene county and the most of his life was spent here. He was bom on a farm on the Clifton pike, October
11, 1838, son of David P. and Julia Baldwin, and was the elder of the two children born to that parentage. Upon completing the course in the neighborhood schools he entered Antioch College and after a course in that institution entered Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati and was graduated from that institution in 1867. Meanwhile, during the progress of the Civil War, the Doctor had taken an active part in that struggle, serving in behalf of the Union, serving first as a member of the Sixty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, from which he received an honorable discharge on account of disability, and later as a member of the One Hundred and Fifty-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Upon receiving his diploma from Ohio Medical College, Doctor Baldwin opened an ofiice for the practice of his profession in the village of Enon, in the neighboring county of Clark, and was there engaged in practice for two years, at the end of which time, following his marriage, he moved to Clarksville, Iowa, where he remained two years. He then returned to Greene county and located at Spring Valley, later moving to Yellow Springs and thence, in 1899, after a period of eight years of practice there, to Xenia, where his last days were spent, his death occurring at his home in that city on February 2, 1902. For nine years Doctor Baldwin served as a member of the local examining board for Greene county of the United States penison bureau; served for four years, under appointment of President Cleveland, as postmaster of Yellow Springs, and for some time was connected with the local journalistic field. He was the founder of the Greene County Democrat and later purchased the Xenia Democrat News, merging tlie two into the paper now known as the Xenia Herald. Doctor Baldwin also was the founder of the Saturday Morning Post and his journalistic activities were continued until his retirement from that field in 1882. He was a Democrat. During his residence at Yellow Springs he also was engaged in farming in that neighborhood. For many years the Doctor was a member of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church. It was written of the Doctor, after his death : "In manner he was genial and jovial and his personal characteristics were such as to make him a popular citizen. Public spirited, he co-operated with every movement for the general good and lived an honorable, upright life, commending him to the confidence and respect of all."
In 1869 Dr. Ira W. Baldwin was united in marriage to Josephine Allen, who also was born in this county and who is still living, continuing to make her home at Xenia, residing at the corner of West Second street and West street.
To that union were born three children, Benjamin (deceased), John and Minnie. John Baldwin, unmarried, is still making his home with his mother in Xenia, and Minnie is now living at Dayton, the wife of William Thomas. Mrs. Baldwin is the only survivor of the three children born to her parents, John C. and Mary (Arnold) Allen, both of whom also were born in Greene county, members of pioneer families, and the latter of whom died when her daughter Josephine (Mrs. Baldwin) was but five years of age. The other two children were Frank Allen, who died in 1857, at the age of twelve years, and Edward Allen, who died unmarried in 1889. The mother of these children was born near New Burlington, this county, daughter of Jesse and Jane (Linton) Arnold, Quakers, and among the early settlers of Greene county, the Arnolds having come here from South Carolina and the Lintons from Pennsylvania. Mrs. Mary Arnold Allen died in 1849. She and John C. Allen were married in 1842. In 1883 John C. Allen married, secondly, Maria Bell, also now deceased.
John C. Allen was born on a farm one mile north of Spring Valley, in this county, June 22, 1815, and died in 1890. He was a son of Benjamin and Rebecca (Campbell) Allen, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of South Carolina, who were married in this county both having been well grown when their respective parents settled here. Benjamin Allen was a Quaker and his wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. She died in 1856 and he survived her until 1868, he then being eighty-four years of age. During the latter years of his life Benjamin Allen had made his home at Spring Valley, to which place he had moved upon his retirement from the farm. John C. Allen grew up on the home farm and upon starting on his own account bought a small place adjoining his father's place and there built and operated a tanyard. A few years later this was burned and he then moved to Xenia and set up a tanyard on Cincinnati avenue, in the southwestern part of the city. In 1851 he bought a farm in the western part of the county and thereafter confined his operations chiefly to agricultural pursuits, becoming eventually the owner of "Whitehall," an estate of a thousand acres, on which was situated the finest house in Greene county, now owned by E. S. Kelly. For thirty years or more after the Civil War period Mr. Allen was a heavy investor in practically every important business enterprise in Xenia. He was a Democrat, but was not a seeker after public office.
From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918