Biographical Sketches of Spalding and Allen

Dudley Allen   Henry Harmon Spalding
Dudley Allen was a family Physician born in 1814 and raised in Kinsman, Ohio.  He met Henry Harmon Spalding at the Western Reserve Academy, in Hudson, Ohio.  They became friends. When Spalding first went out west with the Whitmans, Spalding and his wife Eliza stopped in Kinsman and provisioned their wagon there to travel west.  Thereafter, Allen and his Church sent missionary barrels full of clothing and supplies to the Spalding Mission.  Dudley Allen became associated with Oberlin College when in the 1840ís his son, Dudley Peter Allen enrolled in the College, and Allen Sr. moved to Oberlin and the still standing Allencroft house.  He then became aware of the Oberlin College Museum, and in 1847 sent Spalding a letter asking him to send Indian curios and objects for the museum.  These objects traveled in boxes and barrels all the way to Hawaii and then around South America to get back to Allen and Oberlin. These he gave to the Oberlin Museum. He died in 1898 in Oberlin, Ohio.  

Henry Harmon Spalding was born in 1803 in New York and attended the Lane Seminary, as well as the Western Reserve Academy where he met Dudley Allen.  He was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister and in 1836 established a mission among the Nez Perce at Lapwai, on the Clearwater River in present day Idaho. His missionizing included not only preaching and translating the Gospel into the Nez Perce language, but also teaching agriculture and encouraging the Nez Perce to adopt a settled way of life.  He provided seeds and implements for this endeavor, and established a school where his wife, Eliza Spalding taught.  

Upon receiving a letter from Allen requesting Indian objects, he began collecting a wide range of everyday objects and clothing. It took two years before he was satisfied that he had enough to send back to Ohio.  He worked among the Nez Perce from 1836 to 1847 when the massacre of the Whitmans and eleven others near Walla Walla, Washington led the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to suspend missionary activities in that area. He returned to the Spalding Mission in 1871 to reestablish its presence, and continued to work there until his death in 1874.