J. Adams Allen
Most Worshipful Grand Master 1859
J. Adams Allen was born in Middlebury, Vermont, on January 16, 1825. He acquired his early collegiate and professional education with his father’s help and graduated in 1846. He left his New England home immediately for the west and settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he lived for many years. There, he married Miss Mary Marsh, the daughter of John P. Marsh. She died two years before his death.
In Kalamazoo he began an active practice of medicine. With his capital he rapidly fought his way through the hardships of a pioneer practice and soon gained professional and social distinction. In 1848 he was elected Professor of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Medical Jurisprudence in the Indiana Medical College, and gave several courses of lectures. While holding this position he was asked to accept the chair of Pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He left Ann Arbor in 1854 and returned to Kalamazoo. He delivered some courses of lectures on Physiology and Chemistry in Kalamazoo College, and also on Political Economy.
In 1859 he went to Chicago and accepted a position at Rush Medical College, and became and remained its distinguished President until his death.
For twenty years he was Surgeon in Chief of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Co., and from time to time the consulting surgeon upon the medical staff of various large hospitals in Chicago.
He was raised a Master Mason at Oriental Lodge No. 15 on November 24, 1852. In 1853 or 1854 he was created a Knight Templar, and soon was Eminent Commander of the Commandery. He received the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite grades and Orders from fourth to thirty-second in Oriental Consistory Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, thirty-second, Chicago, between 1862 and 1870. He was Coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the thirty-third degree, and made an honorary member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States in Philadelphia, on September 16, 1879.
He was elected to the Office of Most Worshipful Grand Master on January 14, 1859.
After a long and severe illness, he died on August 15, 1890.