Dr. Charles Sanford Allen

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

DR. CHARLES SANFORD ALLEN is a son of Peter and Hannah Allen, and was born at Greenport, Columbia Co., in this State, on June 8, 1824. His father was a respectable and successful farmer. In this vocation the future doctor passed the earlier years of his life, enjoying at the same time only the limited educational advantages that farmers' sons usually have. A portion of this period was passed in the town of Taghkanic, in the same county, and at East Chatham, Columbia Co. At the age of twenty-two years young Allen began the study of medicine at New Concord, Columbia Co., under the patronage of Dr. Coffin, of that place, and after a year's time sought and obtained a place in the office of Dr. Elbridge Simpson, of the city of Hudson. There he remained for two years, and finally graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Woodstock, Vt., on June 9, 1849.

The doctor first settled in practice in East Greenbush, in the fall of 1849, where he remained until May, 1851, when he located in the village of Greenbush, and has since remained a leading and prominent member of the profession in that locality. He is a member of the Rensselaer County Medical Society, and a non-resident member of a like society in the neighboring county of Albany. He was elected coroner of the county in the fall of 1859, for a term of three years, and filled the office with ability and acceptance for a second and further term of three years.

Aside from his profession, Dr. Allen has filled various positions of honor and responsibility in county and State. On Nov. 24, 1862, he was commissioned by Governor Morgan assistant surgeon of the 125th Regiment of United States Volunteers, commanded by Col. Willard Thomas, of Troy. Repairing to Washington, he undertook the discharge of the duties of the position, but was compelled to withdraw on account of failing health, and received an honorable discharge from the service. On Sept. 14, 1867, he was commissioned by Governor Reuben E. Fenton surgeon of the 72d Regiment of Infantry of the National Guards of the State of New York, with the rank of major, and, although the regiment has since been mustered out of service, Dr. Allen retains his commission.

At the charter election, March 3, 1871, he was elected president of the village, but failed to secure his seat by the operation of those occult laws which oftimes shape the destinies of political candidates. In the month of May of the year following he was elected trustee for a term of two years, and during that period instituted several needed reforms in the village economy, and was largely instrumental in the liquidation of its debt, in the erection of engine-houses, and the purchase of its two handsome steam fire-engines. He was also health officer of the village for a term of four or five years.

On Nov. 26, 1851, Dr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss Sarah, daughter of Edwin Willis, Esq., of East Greenbush, bur formerly of London, England. Three sons and three daughters were born to the union, of whom two sons are deceased. The remaining son is studying medicine with his father.

In his church connections Dr. Allen is actively identified with the First Presbyterian Church of Greenbush, and is assistant superintendent of the Sabbath-school. To this work, as to all others that engage his attention, he devotes much time, care, and energy, taking seeming delight in the advancement of a cause that enlisted his devoted sympathy at a tender age. He is essentially a busy, active man, and occupies a high place in the community.

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