Submitted by JUDI CARTE BRINEGAR, gr-gr-gr-granddaughter.
Judi claimed William's Civil War medal from the West Virginia State Archives.
William A. Allen was born in Virginia circa 1805. He died at the state asylum in Lewis County and his body was returned to his home on Jordan Creek, located in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
He was a son of William A. and Elizabeth Noyes Allen. His father was born in Vermont in 1784 and his mother in New York in 1784. We know the family lived in Pocohantas County before moving on to Kanawha County because affidavits in William's Civil War pension papers state the fact.
According to neighbor George Rucker in 1890, he became acquainted with William soon after he moved to Kanawha County "from Pocohantas County, that was before he was married and long before the war." While in Pocohantas County, Rucker said William was hit in the head with a pine knot by a man with who he had a fight, leaving a lasting indention in the back of his head. Another neighbor and long acquaintance, William Strickland, said in 1890 that he had worked and lived along side William Allen since 1847.
According to Strickland, the "place on the back of his head was caused by a lick which an Irishman gave him with a pine knot." One last friend William Nichols said much the same. "He said to me that he has received a hurt on his head by being struck with a pine knot. He said that this happened when he was a young man and lived in Pocohantas County, W.Va. That two men had jumped him and one struck him on the head. The place was on his head on the back part. I felt it and my recollection is it was about 3 inches long rather wide and sunk in."
Could this have been the reason he removed himself from Pocohantas County, moving on to greener pastures? We'll never know.
William married Elizabeth Young, daughter of George W. and Eudosia Huddleston Young in Kanawha County on March 28, 1848 at the home of G. W. Young by minister Josiah Hindman. By 1860, they had the following children - Janette born 1849, Rutha, born 1851, Simon born 1852, William A. born 1856 and John H. born 1857. Son Uriah was born March 28, 1872. A daughter Nancy E. Allen was born March 1, 1876. Nancy and Uriah were both living at home with their mother in 1879.
Not much is known of William and Elizabeth's early life together. He was known as a hard worker and a religious man. She was described as a virtious and pious woman. A doctor's examination of William in 1886 describes him as about 5 feet, 7 inches tall with several scars on his feet and legs, a result of being cut with a broad axe when younger. Neighbor Elizabeth Tawney said that she first knew William A. Allen in 1854, and saw him frequently in each year from then until the war began. "We attended the same church and he was a praying member of the church and appeared to be a good man. He prayed awful long prayers."
On August 18, 1861, William enlisted in Company H of the 4th Regiment of the W.Va. Volunteers at Point Pleasant, W.Va. War was hard on William and he spent much of his service time in hospitals at Point Pleasant, W.Va., Lousiville, Ky. and Gallipolis, Ohio. At one point during the war, he was his regiment's cook. During his stays in the hospital, he also suffered from rheumatism and typhomalarial fever.When he mustered out of the Army, he was still in the hospital at Point Pleasant. His wife thought he had died in battle and filed for his pension as a widow.
When William Allen returned from the war, he was "crazy" as all of his neighbors attested. "Directly after he returned from the army not more than 1 or 2 months he appeared to be wrong in his mind and had what I called "Crazy Spells," said neighbor Thomas Smith (His son Isaiah married William's daughter Rutha in 1877). "I don't know that I can tell just what he would say, he had a place near his house to which he would go. And then he would preach, as he called it, but it was not preaching, but simply crazy talk about the Bible, and wild men, and spirits."
Lewis Y. Blackwell served the same unit with William and also knew him before the war. In 1888, Lewis provided the following insight to William's decline: "Before he mustered in the United States service, he was a man of sound mind and while in camp at Cerdo, W. Va. about four months after we volunteered, he began talking in a manner that made me begin to think that his mind was so different ... that he was going insane ... he continued as long as I was with him and he was sent off from our Regiment to the General Hospital." Later Lewis confirmed his fears. "I did not see him anymore until we came to Wheeling to be mustered out and there I saw him again. There anybody could see that he was Insane."
When William was mustered out and returned to Jordan Creek, poor Elizabeth had her hands full, according to William's pension papers. He would go out to an Indian mound near their home, place 12 rocks in a circle and began to preach. He was sometimes violent and spoke as no preacher had ever spoke before, she said. Neigbors grew afraid of him. At one time, he threatened to burn down the family home and tried to use a young girl (his youngest child Maria?) as a sacrifice. By 1876, he was confined in the W. Va. Hospital for the Insane at Weston, Lewis County W.Va. The last record we have of him is a confirmation of his death in 1891. Shortly after Christmas, at Weston Hospital for the Insane, William died of exhaustion after battling La Grippe. It was Dec. 28, 1891. He was approximately 86 years old. His death was recorded at the Lewis County WV Courthouse on May 28, 1892. He was listed in Death Register 2, page 102, line 125 as WM ALLEN - white, married, male, farmer. No age was given. Under burial it says "Sent home." A letter dated Feb 20, 1888 to William's daughter-in-law said it all. "Dear Madam, Your father-in-law, Mr Allen, is in better physical condition than he has been for some time. Until recently he had sore legs, and swelling in his feet. He eats and sleeps well. His mental condition is not improving, neither can you expect for him to get better in that direction. He is old and feeble, we take good care of him. He has a nice sofa to sit and lie on all day, if he wants to. He never talks much about his family, indeed his mind is too feeble to do anything except to find fault and scold. Still we all like William, and in his hall, he is a general favorite." Elizabeth Young Allen died sometime in early 1891, having never received a Civil War pension for her husband. Charles A. Young took up the fight to get the pension but in 57 pages of records, we see no proof that it was granted to William or his descendants.
William and Elizabeth's daughter Rutha married Isaiah Smith and their first child was born in 1877. This was William Thomas and he was named after his two grandfathers. Rutha and Isaiah were still living on Jordan Creek in 1920, but we do not know when they died. William Thomas Smith married Etta Frances Derrick in 1900. Etta was the daughter of Martha Ann Naylor. It is said that a man by the name of Derrick was her father. We know no first name for this man. He is listed on her death certificate but only by a last name. Thomas died in 1959 and Etta in 1968. They are both buried at Hayes Cemetery near Blue Creek in Kanawha County W.Va.
Thomas and Etta had 10 children. A daughter Ada Ann was born June 15, 1906 on Jordan Creek. Ada married Okey Carte, son of George Washington and Sophia Russell Taylor Carte. Okey was born Feb. 27, 1904. They were married in November 21,1923 and had the following children: Virginia, Darrell, Herbert, Russell, Glenda, Okey, Jr., Ivalou and Dannie. Okey died December 6, 1988 and Ada died January 1996. The are both buried at Elk Hills Memorial Park in Big Chimney, Kanawha County, W. Va.
Russell Leroy Carte married Mary Ann Chapman on June 5, 1952 in Charleston, W.Va. Mary Ann is the daughter of Melvin Howard and Vesta Ellen Sampson Chapman. Russell and Mary had four children: Linda Jean (born Feb. 14, 1954), Judith Ellen (born May 11, 1956), Russell, Jr. (born May 16, 1957) and Julia Ann (born Sept. 18, 1958). Russell Carte, Sr. died Aug. 25, 1999 in Liberty, NC. He is buried at Gilmore Cemetery in Julian, N.C.
Judith Ellen Carte married David Keith Brinegar on Aug.1, 1981 in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, NC. Their son Alex Gerald Brinegar was born July 20, 1989. They divorced in 1992.