On Wednesday, September 17, 1862, while her oldest son,
Andrew Bennett Allen, was with the 4th Texas Cavalry fighting the bloodiest battle of the Civil War at Antietam,
Nancy McKinnon Allen gave birth to another son at her new home in Nacogdoches County, Texas where she and her husband,
Thomas Hodges Allen, had recently moved from Holmes County, Mississippi. This would be her last child and the youngest of 10 children. They named him
James Sinclair Allen, the Sinclair for Nancy's mother, Jennet Sinclair. Thomas and Nancy must have wondered what the future could possibly hold for this little boy in a world where all their ancestors had fought for in the Revolution seemed to be coming apart. All they could do was pray for his well-being and bring him up in a Christian home with good family values and hope for the best. Little did they know what tremendous changes in the world this child would live to see! Nancy died when James Sinclair was only 5 so she did not live to see what a man he turned out to be.
Born at a time when our nation was engaged in one of the greatest wars in history,
James Sinclair Allen would witness the coming of a new age as the United States catapulted into the 20th Century. He lived through three depressions, two more wars involving the United States (the Spanish American War and World War I) and watched as the United States grew from 34 states at his birth to 48 states by the time of his death!
The North and South poles were discovered and explored and massive oil deposits were discovered in Texas during his life time. The transcontinental railroad was completed when he was 7 years old and by the time he was grown, both the automobile and the airplane were invented. Born in a country farmhouse, he must have been amazed at the invention of the telephone, the telegraph and electric lights!
Through all of life's ups and downs, and there were quite a few during his lifetime, he remained strong in his faith in the Lord. He married a wonderful girl, Martha Anne Tabiatha Phillips, on December 20th, 1883 and proceeded to have ten children of his own.
Tragedy struck James hard in January of 1907 when his beloved Annie and his last child both died in childbirth. He was devastated and heart-broken but continued alone to bring up his children in a Christian manner, tend to his farm and write his weekly column for the Weekly Nacogdoches Sentinel. He remarried in 1912 to Sophronia Miles Stone.
James Sinclair Allen was well liked and much loved by all of his family and friends. He was well known for his sense of humor, his wit and his strong sense of Christian values until his death on May 26, 1935. He was laid to rest beside his beloved Annie in Saint's Rest Cemetery in Nacogdoches County, Texas.
Though his many descendants have scattered all over the United States, a good many of them still remain in Nacogdoches County and we ALL consider ourselves “Texans at Heart”.
Ann Allen Geoghegan
Great-granddaughter of James Sinclair Allen
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