Allison, Leonard A.

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Allison, Leonard A.

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1855-1903

History

Leonard A. Allison was born in Newport, Nova Scotia, on March 3, 1855, the son of John and Rachel (Shaw) Allison. One of his uncles was David Allison, the President of Mount Allison University and another, W. Henry Allison represented Hants County at federal and provincial levels of government.

He graduated in 1875 from Mount Allison University as valedictorian. He then taught Classics at Sackville Academy for six years. This interest in classics continued throughout his life.

In 1880, he decided to enter the legal profession, studying under H.A. Powell of Sackville, Silas Award of Saint John and Albert S. White of Sussex, all former classmates at Mount Allison. In 1884, he was called to the bar. He formed a partnership with Silas White in Sussex. The firm became White, Allison and King in 1889.

Allison married Ada S. Murray, daughter of John Murray of Penobsquis, in 1885. The couple had two daughters, Jane and Mary.

A member of the Methodist Church, he served as choirmaster for the Sussex Church. In this capacity, he compiled and even arranged a selection of hymns and chants. He then copied the selections into individual books for the entire choir.

Mr. Allison was also a member of the Sussex School Board taking a deep interest in his duties to the extent of spending many hours each week in class rooms. His greatest interests were history, genealogy and photography. He compiled meticulous notes but refused to publish until he was certain of his facts. He did publish a biography of Rev. Oliver Arnold, the first rector of Sussex and an ancestor of Mrs. Allison. Another publication was concerned with the history of the Indian College at Sussex. He also read several papers before the New Brunswick Historical Society.

During the last ten years of his life, Mr. Allison collected information on Sir William Fenwick Williams, a native of Nova Scotia, a hero of the Crimean War and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia as well as a relative of the Arnold family. He was unable to complete this study.

In 1902, Leonard Allison travelled to Torquay, England, for health reasons. He died there on January 8, 1903, leaving his wife and two daughters, aged 9 and 8.

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