Henry McAllister Jr. was born in 1836 in Brandywine, New Castle County, Delaware, to Henry McAllister Sr., a first generation American.
His mother, Hannah Askew, was the daughter of a family that had been in America from Colonial times, and who were members of the Religious Society of Friends.
By 1840 the family had moved to Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, very close to Philadelphia. Henry Jr. soon had two sisters who lived out their lives in Philadelphia and remained faithful to the Quaker faith.
After his schooling at the Darby Friends School and a brief career in merchandising, Henry Jr. joined the Union Army at the start of the Civil War.
Quakers had been the first abolitionists in America, and many of the more liberal branch of the faith decided to fight to free the slaves.
During these years he served under General William Jackson Palmer, also a Quaker born in 1836 in Kent County, Delaware. Palmer had also moved to Philadelphia as a young man.
During the war, Henry served in the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry and rose to the rank of Major.
He proved himself to be a brave and successful leader. Some items from his war experience still remain in the Museum.
In 1866 Henry Jr. married Elizabeth Cooper, the daughter of a prominent Darby Quaker family. At the time Henry Jr. had a promising job as the Secretary of the American Iron and Steel Association working for the influential Quaker named Joseph Wharton.
However he was soon to accept a position with General Palmer’s Colorado Springs Company and move West.
Elizabeth Cooper McAllister established herself as a good and influential mother to her three children as well as a kind and caring woman of her new community.
Her first child, a son named Henry (Harry) McAllister Jr. (III), attended Swarthmore College and became a very successful attorney in Colorado Springs and Denver.
His descendants currently live out of the state of Colorado.
Her daughter, Mary McAllister also went East to attend Swarthmore College and taught Latin and Greek at Colorado Springs High School.She later married George Taylor and lived many years on North Tejon Street.
Youngest daughter Matilda McAllister graduated from Colorado College and taught school locally. After her father’s death she lived with Mary and George Taylor on Tejon Street.