Progress Notes

Joe Pryor - News Tribune Article Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday, January 14, 2008

Progress Notes

This week I am returning to the subject of Miller County physicians of the past to discuss the Allee family of Olean and Eldon. The Allee family is interesting and unusual because three consecutive members became well known and successful physicians in our county. They were William S. Allee of Olean, his son Warren Logan Allee of Eldon, and Warren's son, James Allee also of Eldon who later practiced in Columbia and then moved to Florida. We are very much indebted to William Hall, great grandson of William S. Allee, who donated to our museum library a significant number of documents and papers and newspaper clippings having to do with the Allee family. I spoke with Judy Hall, wife of William, shortly before writing this narrative and appreciate the time she gave filling in some details about the Allee family. I am also indebted to Judy's sister, Nita Morris of Eldon, who brought back to us from Texas, the records upon which much of this narrative depends.

William S. Allee was a remarkable man (photo 01). Not only did he become a respected physician but also he excelled in other areas of community service. He was respected enough by his colleagues that he was elected President of the Missouri State Medical Association. But in addition to that he was so well thought of by his fellow citizens that he was elected to the position of State Senator, another way in which he served his community.

01 W. S. Allee
01 W. S. Allee

One of the early papers of Olean, the "Miller County News" on December 14, 1899, had this to say about Dr. Allee early on in his career:

"Dr. Allee has lived in Olean longer than any other person now living here and has watched the town grow from a single farm house to a thriving village of more than three hundred inhabitants. It was in 1882, when the Bagnell Branch was in the course of construction, that Doctor Allee moved here from High Point, where he was then practicing, and built the first residence in the town. To no other one man is there due the credit for the good schools, churches, and business buildings we have here today as there is to Dr. Allee."

The above paper described itself as "A Republican Paper Dedicated To The Upbuilding Of Olean And Miller County." However, Dr. Allee was a strong Democrat and was elected to the Senate as a Democrat. So, the compliments paid to Dr. Allee by this Republican paper are all the more impressive. This lithographic image of Dr. Allee accompanied the story (photo 02).

02 Dr. W. S. Allee - Younger Age
02 Dr. W. S. Allee - Younger Age

Peggy Hake, as usual, gives us the most complete biography of Dr. Allee:

"Dr. William S. Allee was born in Moniteau County on January 20, 1852. He was the only child of James V. Allee and his first wife, Sabra Bowlin. His father was married three times and had seven other children including: Princeton A. Allee, James M. Allee, Alice B. Baxter, Martha C. Ayers, Mary Ward, Yeaman B. Allee and Robert Allee, all half-brothers and sisters to William.

Dr. Allee's grandparents, William and Nancy (Hill) Allee, were married in Kentucky and in 1821, came by covered wagon to Missouri, taking up a land claim in the wilds about five miles north west of present day California, Moniteau County, Missouri. After arriving they built a small log cabin on their land and set up residence. They had eleven children after they came to Moniteau County: Miles Allee, Buford Allee, Preston Allee, Elizabeth Allee, James V. Allee (father of Dr. William), John Allee, Louisa Allee. William Allee, Thomas Allee, Nicholas Allee, and Alvin Allee.

William S. Allee grew to manhood in Moniteau County and attended the common schools of this county. Later he attended the Missouri State University and then went off to Chicago where he entered Rush Medical College. Determined to get a good education in the field of medicine, he then entered the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis from which he graduated in 1875. Before leaving St. Louis, he married Laura C. Huston, daughter of Dr. William A. J. Huston of Cape Girardeau County Missouri.

When Dr. William and Laura Allee came back to his native Moniteau County, he first practiced medicine at California. He later made moves to High Point and finally, in 1882, permanently settled in the new town of Olean, Miller County. Dr. Allee built the first residence in Olean for his young family and went into a partnership with a Mr. Atkin to establish a drug store called Allee and Atkin. He was very active in his community where he served as a school board member and took part in the Mt. Pleasant AF &; AM lodge 134.

Later he was president of the Missouri State Medical Association and served as a state senator in 1909 and 1915. In 1890 he became president of the Miller County Exchange Bank at Olean where he served in that office for 24 years. Dr. Allee was certainly a busy and involved citizen of Saline Townhip.

The Allee family, which favored the Democrat party, was very active in local politics. James Allee, William's father, was serving as probate judge of Morgan County at his death in 1875; James M. Allee, William's half brother, was county clerk of Miller County from 1886-1891; and his uncle, Buford Allee, was a county judge in Moniteau county for several years.

Dr. William and Laura Allee were parents of four children including: GAIL ALLEE b. 1876; REA H. ALLEE 1879-1959 married Lena (maiden name unknown); WARREN LOGAN ALLEE b. 1882; married Maude Franklin; and HENRY PRIEST ALLEE b.1886.

Dr. Allee died in Kansas City on Oct. 9, 1916 at the age of 64 years. He was brought home to Saline Township and buried in Olean Cemetery. His wife, Laura, lived ten years longer and passed on in 1926. She was buried beside her husband at Olean. Their son, Warren Logan Allee, carried on in the tradition of his father and became a noted physician in Eldon, Missouri. In 1932, he was elected president of the Missouri State Medical Association, the same office his father had held several years earlier.

The following photo is of the monument erected in Dr. Allee's honor at the Olean Cemetery (photo 03). As noted above, Dr. Allee was said to have built the first home in Olean. It has been renovated and the next photo which was taken last year demonstrates the fine condition in which it remains (photo 04).

03 Monument - 1916
03 Monument - 1916

04 Dr. W. S. Allee Home
04 Dr. W. S. Allee Home

Among the papers given us by William Hall were many letters written to Dr. Allee while he was a state senator. The most impressive thing to me while reviewing these letters from his constituents, is that most were requesting some personal attention or favor or help in some matter very serious to the person writing. The thought occurred to me that not only was Dr. Allee serving the sick and unwell of his community but he also was spending considerable time attempting to help his constituents in all types of matters both personal and business related. He must have had a lot of energy.

Warren Logan Allee, Dr. William Allee's son, practiced in Eldon, Missouri for many years (photo 05). He began his practice there in 1906 with Dr. G.D. Walker. For the first two years of his practice he used horses to cover his town and rural calls. In 1910 he got his first car, a white buick with a right hand drive, a crank, the gearshift on the running board, and acetylene gas headlights.

05 Dr. Warren Logan and Maude Franklin Allee
05 Dr. Warren Logan and Maude Franklin Allee - 1952

His son, James Allee, wrote a short biography of his father for the book, "50th Anniversary of Bagnell Dam" published by what was then the Union Electric Company. That narrative is as follows:

"The first child to be born in Olean, Mo. was Warren Logan Allee on November 1, 1882. His parents were Dr. and Mrs William S. Allee. His mother was the daughter of Dr. Huston and the granddaughter of Dr. Pitman, both of southeast Missouri.

1906 was a momentous year for W. L. Allee who started a medical practice in Eldon, Mo., and married Maud Franklin, daughter of J. S. Franklin, a prominent Eldon businessman. This union produced a son, Dr. James W. Allee of Largo, Florida, and a daughter, Mrs. R. H. (Trick) Hinz of Sun City, Arizona. Dr. James married Elizabeth Galt of Springfield, Mo. Their children are Dr. J. Galt Allee, a cardiologist, and Sidney Allee Miller. Trick and Bob Hinz have a daughter, Mrs. Nell Franklin Briggs. Five great grandchildren complete the picture.

Dr. W. L. Allee practiced medicine in Eldon, Mo., until three days before his death in 1959. He was honored with the presidency of the Missouri Medical Association in 1934, an office his father had held in 1908. W. S. had also been a state senator, and, for 24 years, the president of the Miller County Exchange Bank in Olean. Dr. W. L. Allee was on the board of the Bank of Eldon for many years, and was elected president in 1932. He served as delegate from Missouri to the AMA for 20 years and was on the board of Christian College, Columbia, Mo. Also, he was a good poker player, storyteller and quail shot.

My mother, Maud Franklin Allee, led an active and productive life. She loved to fill her spacious home with family and friends. She worked tirelessly for the Eldon Christian Church, and was active in local clubs and community affairs. She was chairwoman of nursing scholarships for the Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs and was president of the Auxiliary of the Missouri Medical Association. She died in 1954 at age 70.

Dr. Logan was a kind, compassionate man with an excellent sense of humor. The portrait of the Happy Philosopher hung in his waiting room. He believed a smile and a story were often the best medicine.

He dispensed his own medication which he compounded in his narrow dispensary. A patient once wrote a check for a bottle of tonic. My father passed the endorsed check to a teller at the bank who, after one look, said, "Doctor, this check is no good." Dad laughed and slowly tore it up commenting, "Well, the medicine wasn't either!"

I recall being stranded without funds with my family on a fishing trip in Arkansas. The nearest bank would not accept my check without identification. A bank officer consented to call my father for approval of a Bank of Eldon check. The call went through and the official said, "There is a man here with his wife and two children claiming he is your son who is broke. Will you approve his check?" The bank officer listened and then started to laugh as he repeated my father's words: "If he claims he is broke, that's my son." I got the money!"

Gerald Schultz in his book, "History of Miller County," also wrote a short biography regarding Dr. Warren Logan Allee which I thought contained some additional information. It was written before Dr. Warren Logan Allee's death:

By Gerard Schultz, 1933

Warren Logan Allee of Eldon is one of the leading members of the medical profession in this state. In 1932 he was elected president of the Missouri State Medical Association at its annual convention held at Jefferson City, Missouri.

Dr. Allee was born at Olean, Missouri, November 1, 1882. His father, William S. Allee, who was state senator, president of the Missouri State Medical Association, and for 24 years president of the Miller County Exchange Bank at Olean, was born in Moniteau County, Missouri, January 20, 1862. His mother, Laura C. (Huston) Allee, was born in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, August 31, 1850. Warren Logan Allee attended Iberia Academy, the University of Missouri and St. Louis University, from which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Dr. Allee has taken an active part in the affairs of his community and state. He is president of the Bank of Eldon; member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club of Eldon' and for a number of years he served on the Board of Education. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Christian College, Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Allee is a member of the Miller County Medical Society, the State Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. He is affiliated with the Phi Beta Pi medical fraternity and the Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic Party, and he holds membership in the Eldon Christian Church. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and the I.O.O.F.

On October 27, 1906, at Eldon, Missouri, Dr. Allee was united in marriage with Miss Maud Franklin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James S. Franklin. The children of this union are James W., who is a graduate of the medical department of Washington University, and Laura E., who graduated from Christian College in 1932 and is now attending the University of Missouri. Mrs. Allee has been prominently identified with the work of the Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs.

The Allee family donated Warren Logan Allee's medical instruments and medical bag to our museum. The next photo is of his medical bag (photo 06). You can tell by its appearance that it had many years of use.

06 Warren Logan Allee Medical Bag
06 Warren Logan Allee Medical Bag

As successful as his father and grandfather were, so also was James Allee M.D. (photo 07).

07 James Allee and Family
07 James Allee and Family - 1958

He wrote a short autobiography which is copied here from the "50th Anniversary of Bagnell Dam:"

"Long before the Osage Dam was built, my family's history was intertwined with Bagnell and the Osage River. My mother was born in Bagnell where her father, J. S. Franklin and his brother-in-law, R. S. Harvey, had a general store and a railroad tie business. Timber was cut upstream, slid downhill to the river, and rafted to Bagnell. After the Lake was formed, one could still see faint, vertical gashes in the hillsides from the tie slides. One such gash was located a mile or so downstream from our Arrowhead Beach cottage.

Construction of the Dam shielded Eldon from the Great Depression. On Saturdays and paydays, Main Street swarmed with workers from the Dam. I remember armed guards were stationed in the prone position on top of the bank vault to thwart a robbery.

I recall floating a john boat down the Niangua River before the Dam was closed. We floated at night guided by the light of the moon and many stacked brush fires along the bottom lands to clear the future water basin. It was an eerie experience that suggested campfires of the Osage Indians.

In November 1934 I started a medical practice in Eldon. My first patient was John Gattermeier of Olean, subject: quail hunting. Later I was appointed physician to the Union Electric and also the WP A camp at the Kaiser Recreational Area. How I loved watching the subtle changes of fall and spring on frequent trips to Kaiser!

Somewhere along the line I served on a committee to secure a golf club for Eldon. The Ross Harrison farm south of Eldon was purchased, and Frank Harris, a saddle horse friend from California, Mo., was hired as manager. I distinctly remember the afternoon that Frank and I walked the farm and laid out the nine holes. Later, we staged the first and only horseshow at the club.

Two highlights of my general practice:

(1) The delivery of a second child to a patient whose first child was delivered by my grandfather, Dr. W. S. Allee, 20 years earlier, and

(2) I delivered our second child, Sidney, in October 1942, just before entering the Air Force."

More Information about James Allee will fill in some blanks. A number of people still remember when he practiced in Eldon, but lost track of him after he entered the armed forces during WW II. The following article, which was copied from a newspaper clipping (unfortunately, the clipping does not indicate which local paper printed it), concerns his eventual move in the late 1940's or early 50's to Florida from Missouri and is informative:

"Dr. James W. Allee, a former Eldon resident who has practiced medicine in Columbia since 1947, and his family will move to Florida. He plans to begin his practice at Treasure Island, off St. Petersburg, Florida about the first of December. He is the son of Dr.W.L. Allee of Eldon. Following his graduation from Eldon High School, he was graduated from the University of Missouri in 1928, and obtained his doctor of medicine degree in 1932 from Washington University in St. Louis. He practiced in Eldon from 1934 until 1942 when he entered the Army Air force as a flight surgeon.

Immediately following the war during which he served part of the time in India, he took two years of post-graduate work in internal medicine.

He and Mrs. Allee, he said, have always wanted to live in Florida since he served there for 15 months during his days of military duty.

The Allees plan to sell their Columbia home, but Mrs. Allee and their son and daughter may wait until the close of the school year to join him in the South. Dr. Allee recently passed Florida state board examinations in basic science and medicine to qualify for a license to practice in that state.

In Columbia he was a member of the Boone County hospital and old University hospital staffs, and was on the medical school faculty. At one time he was chief of staff at University hospital.

He has been a physician at Christian College there since 1948. Dr. Allee is a past president of the Boone County Medical Society, and has been elected councilor of the fifth district of the Missouri medical Association. He also is a member of the American Board of Internal medicine and the American Academy of Allergies."

Dr. James Allee also made home visits when he practiced in Eldon. My mother reminded me that back in the mid 1930's he came to Tuscumbia to help mom's sister, Marie (Bear) Stillwell, deliver her first child, Carol Stillwell. This was a home delivery at the Bear family house on Goosebottom Street in Tuscumbia.

So this finishes the story of the Allee family of doctors, all of whom were successful and popular physicians who served their communities well.

We are moving right along with the building program at the museum. This week we are starting the second phase which is the renovation of the original museum now that we have finished the new addition. Last week the museum committee met at the museum with Richard Schroeder, director of the Moniteau County museum, who spent three hours with us in consultation as to how he would recommend redesigning the old museum (photo 08).

08 Martin, Weaver, Pryor, Schroeder, Thompson, Schroeder
08 James Martin, Dwight Weaver, Judy Pryor, Carol Schroeder, Nancy Thompson, Richard Schroeder

Paul Holder, our builder, was there as well in consultation. Also present was James Martin of California who has been very involved working with Richard at the Moniteau County museum. Paul's crew will begin work Friday putting in the framing on the walls getting ready for the dry wall. A new drop down ceiling also is planned. This will improve our insulation hopefully reducing our heating and cooling expenses. Following that Paul and his crew will build facades and interiors to simulate a church, a one room school, an old country store, and an old time kitchen. New outside doors have been ordered and new railing will be placed on the steps of the porch. Kenneth Wyrick will begin work this Friday as well putting in wiring for the new lighting.

I will be on vacation for the next three weeks. I will continue to post some items of interest of an abbreviated nature as well as any museum news which might come up but won't have time to feature much in the way of historical events and stories until I return.

Joe Pryor

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