Allen, John Wesley
By Eric Allen
It was the
fall of 1888 when a young boy stepped across a shoal on Big Lee
Creek in present Sequoyah County and hurried along a dim track trough
the forest. He climbed the hills of extreme eastern Indian Territory
at that time.
Fourteen-year-old John Wesley Allen was
traveling from Natural Dam, Arkansas, to visit his uncle Fate Rich.
The Rich home at that time was between Liberty and the communities of Blue Mouse
In this region John Wesley Allen
was to meet, court and later marry Cynthia Annie Vaughn, who was
living with her mother and brothers near the Shonny (Czarnikow)
The house was beside the road along
which Wesley Allen traveled that day in 1888. He told pretty
Cynthia Annie the first time he met her: "You're mine if I
never get you, girl. I'll tell you that!"
They were married in 1898. They farmed, raised a large family, operated a grocery store and
remained in Sequoyah County all their lives. From about 1913
until 1929, John Wesley Allen served as constable of Roland Township,
and was a deputy sheriff a great portion of his adult life.
He and Cynthia Annie were highly active throughout all their years.
For almost fifty years they lived
at the first place they bought, two miles east of Liberty School.
Both had interesting historical backgrounds.
John Wesley Allen's grandfather came
from Ireland as captain of a ship. He never
could manage to speak English without the customary full Irish brogue.
Some records indicate the first community of Allentown, Pennsylvania,
was named for him. Later, the Allen family migrated to Kentucky and Tennessee and then
John Wesley Allen's maternal grandfather
was of a totally different breed, called "Granddad" Bronson [Branson]
He was a Cherokee minister
and emissary to the Indians... a far traveling man
who boarded a ship around Cape Horn to California in 1849. He often told young John Wesley of seeing San Francisco when there
was nothing except a tiny huddle of shacks, and also the "falling
of the stars," which he witnessed in 1833.
John Wesley Allen was ">a cousin of the noted Jim Branson,
sheriff of Crawford
County, Arkansas, many terms. Jim Branson for years operated
a big general store at Short.
John Wesley's mother was Adeline Branson [Nancy]. She died at an early
age and is buried near Cedarville, Arkansas. John Wesley's father,
Alec [Alexander] Allen, once ran a store at Long.
Cynthia Annie Allen (nee Vaughn)
had perhaps an even richer historical heritage. She was descended
from William Vaughn, the explorer who is noted as the first white
man to view and taste the so-called "healing waters" of
Eureka Springs. He spread the word and it went throughout
the nation and worldwide, and thus the "Little Switzerland"
city of the Ozarks - Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was born.
Cynthia Annie's father, James Vaughn
(1846-1884) fought with the Union Army during the Civil War and
was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1865. He is buried in Pope County, Arkansas.
John Wesley Allen (1874-1954) and Cynthia Annie Allen (1879-1961) are buried
in the cemetery at Roland, Oklahoma.
Their first born child was Villa,
1899; next, Addie, 1902; Audra Allen, a noted teacher in Sequoyah
County for 45 years, 1904; little Ella Vadis died in infancy; The
first son born was John Wesley, Jr., 1908; then another daughter,
Evangeline (Vangie), 1912; another son, David Eric, was born in
1916; and Dayton Hughes, the last-born of this family, was born