Biography of Andrew Allison
Indiana County, PA Biographies

"ANDREW ALLISON, who came to Indiana county in 1788, was the first to settle within the present limits of the county. He was born in Cumberlaud county, Pa., in the year 1757. His father, Robert Allison, came from county Derry, Ireland, in 1750, and settled in Cumberland county. He was married in 1752 to a lady by the name of Beckie Beard, a granddaughter of one Charles Stuart, a descendant of the house of Stuarts. They reared a family of six sons and one daughter. Andrew, the third son, after having followed General Washington through the most gloomy period of the Revolution, returned to his father's family, in Cumberland county, but did not remain there long. In the year 1785 he again left the paternal roof, and, with a new axe in his hand and a rifle on his shoulder, crossed the mountains and settled in 'Westmorelaud county, near the site of the present village of New Derry. There he commenced an improvement, making his home with John Pomroy in time of peace, and when the Indians invaded the settlement he took refuge in a fort in the vicinity. During his sojourn in Westmoreland county the settlement was frequently attacked by Indians, and several men were killed and others wounded. In 1788 he sold his improvements to Francis Pomroy, crossed the Coiiemaugli river, and settled on the bank of Two Lick, on the site of an old Indian town, opposite the present village of Homer. Here he built a cabin and cleared some ground for agricultural purposes. The cabin was without a door, and a hole in one side served as a place of ingress and egress. In the year 1790 his father came from Cumberland county and took charge of his improvements, and Andrew penetrated farther into the forest and opened up the farm now owned by Archy Nichol, three miles east of the borough of Indiana. Here he was the frontier settler, with nothing between him and the Susquehanna river but the howling wilderness, abounding with wild beasts, and traversed by hostile savages. In October of that year he was married to a lady by the name of Sally Barr. He remained at his new home till 1792, in which year the Indians renewed their depredations upon some of the border settlements. A report having reached him one evening that Indians were in the vicinity, he took his family, consisting of his wife and one child, and fled to his nearest neighbor, Irwin Adams, who had come from Ireland and located on the farm now owned by G. A. McClain. After remaining there several days Allison went to look after his farm, and get some articles that had been left, but the cabin with all its contents had been burnt, the Indians having fired it during his absence. He then returned to his father's, on Two Lick and Yellow creek, on an improvemerit made by John Henry at an earlier date, but who, on account of the dangers that surrounded him, had returned to his former home in Virginia. At this place Allison remained till 1795, when he purchased an improvement made in 1772 by one Joseph Hopkins, about three miles south of Indiana, Hopkins and his family having fled from their clearing on account of the Indian troubles. Here again he was on the frontier, with neither a horse nor a public road, bridge, church or school-house within ten miles. It was truly a secluded spot; the silence of the forest was seldom broken, except by the howling wolves, the yelling panthers or the crack of the hunter's rifle. Here he spent the remainder of his days, and cleared out a large farm. He died in 1815, aged fifty eight years."


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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