Allen, James C. (Congressman)

Born: 1822-01-29 Shelby County, Kentucky

Died: 1912-01-30 Olney, Illinois

James C. Allen moved to Indiana in 1830, where he studied law and earned admittance to the bar in 1843. He began practicing law in Sullivan, Indiana and won election as prosecuting attorney for the Seventh Indiana Judicial District in 1846. At the end of his term in 1848, he moved to Palestine, Illinois. In 1850, Allen was practicing law in Crawford County, Illinois and owned $1,500 in real property. Allen won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1850 and remained there until 1851. In 1852, voters elected him to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. In 1854, Allen ran for reelection against William B. Archer. Although Allen was declared the victor, Archer contested the election, forcing Allen to give up his seat for a second election in 1856, which Allen won. He served as clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1857 to 1859. By 1860, Allen had amassed $10,000 in real property, with a personal estate of $15,000. Also in 1860, Allen unsuccessfully ran for governor and lost to Richard Yates. The following year, he won a position as a circuit court judge and remained in that office until 1863, when he returned to Congress, serving the Thirty-Eighth Congress from March 1863 to March 1865. Allen lost his bid for reelection in 1864 and returned to Illinois in 1865 to resume his law practice. Allen married Mary E. Kitchell in 1845. After her death, he married Julia A. Kitchell in 1857.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 568-69; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Clark County, ed. by H. C. Bell (Chicago: Middle West, 1907), 22; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Crawford County, 22 January 1845, 16 June 1857, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Crawford County, IL, 251; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Palestine, Crawford County, IL, 34.