Dr. James Smith Wallen was born in August 1809 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was the only son of Major Edward Pinnock Wallen and the former Eliza Archangel Mill. Her father commanded Fort Detroit after it was captured by the British. When Dr. Wallen was 5 years old, he and his mother went to live in Scotland. In 1833 Dr. Wallen graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in England. Dr. Wallen furthered his medical studies in Paris. Dr. Wallen practiced medicine for a time in England and he arrived in Canada in 1834 during a Cholera outbreak. He was appointed a government surgeon in the 1837 rebellion.
Dr. Wallen married Mary Teeple who resided in Ancaster, Ontario. She was born in 1826 in Glanford Twp, Ontario, the eldest child of Jacob Teeple and the former Rachel Roszel. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Abraham, Catherine, Elizabeth, Philip, James, Naomi and Edward.
Dr. and Mrs. Wallen had a daughter named Mary Teeple Wallen born in 1842. His wife Mary died a short time later.
Dr. Wallen moved to Morpeth in 1844. He subsequently practiced in Ridgetown and Dresden before settling in Chatham.
Dr. Wallen married Sarah Coburn on the 7th of August, 1845. Sarah was born on the 29th of November 1824 in Beamsville, Ontario. Her parents were Eliphalet Coburn and the former Alathea Robinson.
Dr. and Mrs. Wallen had 3 children; Eleuthera, Edward and James. Mrs. Wallen was active in the Maccabee’s Club.
Initially Dr. Wallen and his family lived near the Town Line between Howard and Harwich Twp, Kent County. By 1854, the family was living on Adelaide Street in Chatham.
Dr. Wallen died on the 18th of January, 1863 and he was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Wallen supported herself by teaching music. She died on the 1st of September 1910, in Blenheim. She was buried beside her husband at Maple Leaf Cemetery.
*His daughter Mary Teeple Wallen married Harvey Morris and their son, Dr. Wallen K. Morris became a doctor. He practiced in Detroit Michigan until his death on the 16th of Mary, 1928 at the age of 44.