Dr. John “Ross” Van Allen was born in Chatham on the 6th of July 1849. His father, Daniel Ross Van Allen founded the Town of Dresden. Dr. Van Allen’s father owned a manufacturing company known as “Wagon Works”. Mr. Van Allen listed his occupation on the 1881 census as a saw mill owner. His mother was the former Susanna Williams. Dr. Van Allen was the 2nd of 7 children and his siblings were; Mildred Van Allen (born October 6, 1847 and died November 15, 1872), William Henry Van Allen (born March 1, 1852 and died the same year on the 3rd of August), Charles Van Allen (born September 9th, 1853 and died April 16th, 1859), James Van Allen (born May 17th, 1855 and died the same year on August 22nd) Harriett “Hattie” Sophia Van Allen (born August 12th, 1856) and Edmund Walker Van Allen (born May 31, 1859 and died May 5th of 1895). Dr. Van Allen’s mother died on the 5th of October 1865 and his father married Mary Waller in 1866. There were no children born to his father and his second wife, Mary.
Dr. Van Allen graduated M.D. from Queen’s Medical School in 1871. After Dr. Van Allen graduated, he started practicing medicine in Morpeth. Dr. Van Allen played on the Chatham Cricket Club and he was chosen to play on the Ontario Cricket team in 1871. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 28th of September, 1874.
Dr. Van Allen married Isabella Helena Clark on the 20th of June, 1872, in Kingston, Ontario. Mrs. Van Allen was born on the 3rd of December 1850 in Kingston, Ontario to Charles Clark and the former Jane Ann Badgely. Her father was an accountant and she had at least 11 brothers and sisters. They included; Joseph Edward Clark, Harriett E. Clark, Margaret Louisa Clark, Almira Clark, Wilhelmina Althelia Clark, Jesse Alice Clark, Frederick G. Clark, Frank C. Clark, Edward Clark, Hedley Charles Clark and Marion L. Clark.
Dr. and Mrs. Van Allen had 5 children; Florence Van Allen, Lawrence Ross Van Allen, Mildred Van Allen, Helene Van Allen and Edmund C. Van Allen.
Dr. Van Allen appears in the 1874-1875 Kent County Business Directory as practicing in Chatham. In 1876, Dr. Van Allen officially moved his medical practice from Morpeth to Chatham. In the March 6th edition of the Chatham newspaper there appears an article from the local residents of Morpeth, expressing their sadness that Dr. Van Allen was moving to Chatham. His Chatham office was located at 76 King St. W., and the family resided on Forsyth Street. Dr. Van Allen advertised this location in the 1877 Chatham Business Directory. Dr. Van Allen was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Marmion Lodge No. 15.
By 1880, Dr. and Mrs. Van Allen had moved their family to Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1881 Kansas City Business Directory, Dr. Van Allen’s medical practice was listed as 1018 E 12th Street and in the 1882 Business Directory his office was listed as 107 James St. Sometime around 1894, Dr. and Mrs. Van Allen moved to Denver, Colorado. He was the Medical Director of the Colorado Sanitarium, located at 1148 Broadway Street. In 1897 the Denver, Colorado Business Directory stated that his office was located at 1221 Broadway Street. The 1900 U.S. Census listed the Van Allen family as living at 1144 Clayton Ave., in Denver.
Dr. Van Allen died in 1901 and he was buried at the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. Cemetery officials confirm that there is no tombstone on his grave. His daughter Mildred Van Allen died in 1904 and she was also buried at the Fairmount Cemetery. She was 19 years old at the time of her death.
The 1910 U.S. Census found Mrs. Van Allen living in Chicago, Illinois with her children, Lawrence, Helene and Edmund.
Mrs. Van Allen died on the 9th of February, 1922. At the time of her death she resided at 120 Locust Street West in Chicago, Illinois. She was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Chicago.
*Dr. Van Allen’s son Lawrence served with the United States Armed Services during World War I. Dr. Van Allen’s son Edmund served with the United States Armed Services during World War I and World War II. Edmund was drafted into WWII in 1942 and he died of sun stroke on the 21st of July, 1942 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Edmund Van Allen was buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.