Born Dec. 4, 1835, in Russellburg, Warren County, Harrison was the son of Samuel P. and Mary (Thompson) Allen, and the great grand-nephew of General Anthony Wayne. He received his education in rural schools, Jamestown Academy (NY), Randolph Academy (NY), and Fredonia Academy. Harrison taught school, pursued the lumber business, studied law, and joined the Warren bar in 1859. He served as Captain of the 20th Div., Pa. Militia; Lt. Col. of the county regiment, 1860; captain of a company of first responders at the outbreak of the Civil War and helped organize the 10th Reserves, 39th Regt., PVI, Co. H, Captain, promoted Major, Feb. 14, 1862. Within two weeks, his unit deployed to Washington for training and defense of the city, participating in action at Drainesville. Resigning due to illness, he returned to federal service as Captain of Co. F, 151st Regt., PVI (the “School Teachers Regiment”), Oct. 30, 1862; promoted to Col. and commander of the regiment, Nov. 11, 1862. He saw additional action at Union Mills; Belle Plain; the Point Conway diversion; Fredericksburg-Chancellorsville; Pollock’s Mill Creek; Gettysburg; and Williamsport (Md). After contracting typhoid fever at Falmouth (Fredericksburg), Va., Allen received a 30-day sick-leave furlough to Washington, June 8, 1863, before rejoining his regiment at Gettysburg on July 4, 1863. He was immediately engaged in the pursuit of Lee’s army to Williamsport and Funkstown, Md. He mustered out on July 27, 1863 with the regiment. Col. Allen received a brevet promotion to Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, March 13, 1865, for “faithful and meritorious service.” After the war, he served in the state House of Representatives, 1866-1868; delegate at large to the Soldier’s National Convention in Chicago, 1868; delegate to the Republican National Convention, 1868; state Senator, 1870-1872; state Auditor General, 1872-1875; Chicago National Republican Convention, 1880; led national campaign efforts for President Garfield; United States Marshal for the Dakota Territory, 1882-1886; chair of the Territorial Central Republican Committee of Dakota, 1886-1888; and Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1887. After election in 1872 to state Auditor, Allen was hailed by the county’s Democratic Caucus as “the poor man’s friend” in response to his benevolence to the less fortunate. The Fargo Daily Sun noted: “Perhaps there is (no person) in Dakota more widely known and more justly popular than General Harrison Allen… a thoroughbred gentleman in all that the word implies.” Allen received an appointment to the Post Office Dept. in Washington, DC during the Arthur administration, remaining in the nation’s capital until his death from heart failure on Sept. 23, 1904; interred at Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, Susanna.