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Franklin Allen

Question: Did Franklin Allen serve in the Civil War after having served in the Mormon Battalion in 1847?

Answer: Franklin Allen was born 15 April 1818, in Dryden, Tompkins, New York, one of four children of Elihu Marcellus Allen and Laura Foote. Franklin’s mother died in 1823, and his father married Lola Ann Clawson in June 1827. Franklin’s father became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January 1834. He and his second wife had twelve children together.

In 1837, Franklin’s father moved his family to Far West, Missouri, to be with the Saints there. By 1839 they had been driven out of Missouri to Quincy, Illinois, where they stayed until 1843. From there, they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, along with the other Saints.

Franklin married Rebecca Myers on October 10, 1841 in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Rebecca was the daughter of Jacob Myers and Sarah Elizabeth Coleman. Jacob was a millwright by vocation. His home had been in Richland County, Ohio. He built and ran the mill for Jacob Haun, the site of the massacre in 1838 by the mob following the extermination order by Governor Boggs. Jacob had a brother and two sons seriously injured in the massacre.

Rebecca had become a member of the Church in January 1832. Franklin was baptized a member of the Church in January 1842. Franklin and Rebecca had three children in Illinois. When Franklin and his family were forced out of Nauvoo, along with his father, they ended up at Council Bluffs, Iowa, where their oldest son Samuel (age 5) died.

Franklin enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and served in Company B. Franklin traveled to Utah as a returning Mormon Battalion veteran in the Mormon Battalion Sick Detachments in July 1847. Rebecca had a daughter, Lavinia, born in 1848 at Council Bluffs.

Franklin’s father, Elihu, and step mother, Lola Ann, with six of their children crossed the plains to Utah in the Jedediah M. Grant Company, arriving in the Great Salt Lake Valley on 2 October 1847. Elihu lost his second wife after that first winter in the Valley, just four and one-half months after they arrived. Elihu Marcellus Allen died on 11 October 1850 in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

In 1848, Franklin traveled back to Iowa. The family was in Council Bluffs in the 1850 census, and Franklin and Rebecca had a son, Franklin, born here. The family then immigrated to Utah in the Issac M. Stewart Company of 1852. About 245 individuals and 53 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs). Franklin Allen is listed in Isaac Stewart’s Journal as being in the first Ten in Captain Peter Tidwell’s group, with six in his family, 4 oxen, and 2 cows. Members of the company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in August/September 1852.

In 1852 Franklin and Rebecca had a daughter in Utah they named Rebecca. In 1856 Franklin and Rebecca had a son Jacob born in Utah. Franklin participated as one of the rescuers who were sent out in the winter of 1856 to assist the members of the Church stranded in Wyoming.

Then for some reason, Franklin and Rebecca decided to return to Iowa. Rebecca’s parents and other family members were living in this area, so that may have been one of the reasons. By 1860, Franklin and Rebecca are living in Bertram, Linn County, Iowa, where Franklin engaged in the milling and lumber business. Franklin and Rebecca had six more children while living in Iowa.

During the Civil War (1861-1865), Franklin (at age 44) served for six months. He was a Private enlisted in Company A, Iowa 20th Infantry Regiment on 22 August 1862, and mustered out on 24 February 1863 at Springfield, Missouri.

Rebecca died on February 15, 1885. Franklin Allen died on December 16, 1890 (age 72). He was buried in the Bentonsport Cemetery, Bentonsport, Van Buren County, Iowa.

Source: “Franklin Allen,’; Obituary of George Allen; Excerpts from “Elihu Marcellus Allen,’; Sources;

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