was born in Perry, Wayne County, Ohio, March 2, 1829. At school he was somewhat familiarly known as "Big- Eyed Bill;" and the girls of those days about Wooster, Ohio, used to laugh at the awkward and overgrown youngster, who took it good humoredly, however, and soon showed that he had good stuff in him. A lady who was in school with him says:

"Little did any of us think that boy would ever amount to anything. He was at the foot of our class and the butt of all, he was such a greenhorn. He lived on a farm, and walked into Wooster every day from school. He never wore any suspenders, and was always hitching up his trousers like a sailor. When we girls made fun of him he would run after us, and if he caught one that girl was sure to be kissed. And he had a horrible tobacco breath. I believe that boy chewed tobacco from the time he put on boy's clothes. But he was kind hearted and would never tell the teacher, no matter what we put on him. Yes, 'Big Eyed Bill' was patient as an ox."

Mr. Allison has grown into much more manly and graceful shape, and has acquired great mastery of the world's ways; he is, in fact, a large, handsome and graceful man, and in personal intercourse quite polished and agreeable.

When Mr. Allison's academic course was ended, he alternatiely taught school and attended college for some years, graduating at the Western Reserve College, at Hudson, Ohio. In 1851 he was admitted to the bar in Wooster; in 1854-56 he took an active part in politics as a Republican, and in 1857 he located at Dubuque, Iowa, which is still his home.

Mr. Allison's law practice was soon large in Iowa, but he was invited to a front rank in politics at once. As delegate, writer and speaker he was very efficient, and as one of the secretaries of the memorable Chicago convention of 1860, he counted the votes and announced the nomination of Abraham Lincoln.

He was a member of the governor's staff in 1861, and rendered valuable service in raising troops for the war. He was elected in 1862 to the Thirty-eighgth Congress as a Republican, and returned for the three succeeding Congresses, serving in the House of Representatives from December, 1863, till March, 1871. In 1873 he was elected to the United States Senate for the term ending in 1879, and has been thrice re-elected.



Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes,C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1888