Biography of Orval Duane Allis

Orval Duane Allis is a Kansas educator, superintendent of schools at Virgil. He is a graduate of Baker University, is a native of Kansas, and his people settled in the state while the Civil war was in progress.

Mr. Allis had in his veins the blood of a substantial ancestry, the English and Holland Dutch predominating. His paternal ancestors came from England to Vermont in colonial times. His great-grandfather, William Allis, was born in Vermont, but early moved to Steuben County, New York, where he married, where he spent his career as a farmer, and where he died.

F. G. Allis, the founder of the family in Kansas, was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1833. He grew up in Steuben County, and while living there taught school, followed the trade of carpenter, was a justice of the peace, and also did farming. He married in 1855 Catherine Winne. She was born in Steuben County, August 9, 1829, and is now living at the venerable age of eighty-seven in Virgil, Kansas. Her ancestors, the Winnes, came out of Holland and were settlers in New York long before the Revolution. In 1864 F. G. Allis and wife brought their family to Kansas, locating on a homestead of 160 acres in Greenwood County. He livcd the life of a farmer there until his death at Virgil on May 11, 1894. Mrs. Catherine Allis is one of the oldest residents in this section of Kansas, and had witnessed practically its entire development. She and her husband had the following children: Egbert, who was born in 1857 and died in 1917, at Chanute, Kansas; Emmett, mentioned below; Ada, who lives at Virgil; William E., a hardware merchant at Dunlap, Kansas.

Emmett Duane Allis, father of Professor O. D. Allis, was born at Hornersville, New York, 1859. He was five years of age when his parents, in November, 1864, located on their homestead at Virgil, Kansas. He grew up and married there, and spent his active career as a farmer, though he was also a carpenter by trade. He died at Virgil in 1905. He was a Democrat in his political affiliations, served a term as township trustee, was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was affliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. Emmett D. Allis married Arena A. Dalton. She was born at Virgil, Kansas, in 1859, representing one of the first families to locate here, and she now resided at Baldwin, Kansas. Her children are: Orval D.; Mamie, who is a teacher living with her mother at Baldwin; Frank Howard, principal of the high school at Great Bend, Kansas; Verna, wife of Charles Terrell, a farmer at Endora, Kansas; and Eda, who lives with her mother at Baldwin and is a student in Baker University.

Orval Duane Allis, who was born at Virgil, February 27, 1884, attended the public schools of his native town, was graduated from Baker Academy in 1905, and received his degree A. B. from Baker University in 1910. A few months after his graduation he began teaching in Greenwood County, and in 1911 was elected superintendent of schools, at Virgil. He is a man of high ideals in educational affairs and besides his successful administration of the local schools he had identified himself with various other interests in his home locality. For the past five years he had held the office of justice of the peace. He is a stockholder in the Virgil State Bank, and is interested in his father’s estate and lives on the homestead of 120 acres, directing its operations as a farm.

Mr. Allis is a democrat, secretary of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is a member of Virgil Lodge No. 435, Independent Order Odd Fellows, is president of the Knights and Ladies of Security No. 35 at Virgil, and belongs to the Kansas State Teachers’ Association.

Mr. Allis married at Baldwin, Kansas, Miss Gertrude Cundiff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Cundiff. Her father, who was a farmer, is now deceased, and her mother resided at Baldwin.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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