Charles McAllister was born in South Lee, Massachusetts, February 1, 1840. His
parents were John and Cynthia (Heath) McAllister. On his father's side he is of Scotch
descent, his grandfather, Alexander McAllister, having come from Scotland in the latter part
of the eighteenth century. His mother was of Puritan stock.
After attending the public schools in South Lee, he completed his preparation for
college in Williams Academy, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and entered our Class in 1859.
Near the close of Sophomore year, he was obliged to leave college on account of failing
health. Subsequently he studied medicine with his uncle, Charles McAllister, M.D., of
Stockbridge, and in 1865 graduated from Berkshire Medical School, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He immediately resumed the practice of medicine in Stockbridge, where,
as an undergraduate, he began his professional work. Three years later, Williams College
conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts.
In 1869, ill health compelled him to retire from active practice, and he removed to
Dixon, Illinois, where he remained two years. During this time he visited many States of
the middle West, and decided, in 1872, to locate in Spencer, Iowa. From that time to the
present he has steadily followed his profession.
Dr. McAllister was elected to the General Assembly of Iowa in 1877, receiving the
largest majority of votes of any member of the House in the Seventeenth General Assembly.
He was made chairman of a special committee on the practice of medicine, and served on
In 1887, he erected a business block in Spencer, and has his office in this block. Ten
years later, he purchased an interest in the First National Bank of Spencer, and has held the
position of president of the bank since that date.
He is a member of the Odd Fellows; is a Knight Ternplar, and belongs to Uniform
Rank, Knights of Pythias. He is a member of the Congregational church of Spencer, and
chairman of the board of trustees, a position which he has held many years.
January 1, 1869, our classmate married Laura McAllister, of Stockbridge, and to them
were born three sons. The eldest, Charles, born in 1877, died in infancy. The second son,
Charles Heath, was born in 1879, and died in 1895. The third son, Alexander W., was born
in 1883. He prepared for college in the Spencer (Iowa) High School, and entered Williams
College in the autumn of 1902.
In 1892, Mrs. Laura McAllister died, and six years later, in 1898, Dr. McAllister
married Fannie Elizabeth Spencer, of Alden, Iowa.
From one of our classmate's former pastors at Spencer, I learn that the good doctor
"is one of the oldest and most respected practicing physicians in his section of the State (of
Iowa). He has done an immense business, but now does not care to undertake so much as
formerly. He is called, however, in consultation, all over his section of Iowa." This pastor
also speaks highly of McAllister as a faithful member and liberal supporter of the
Class of Sixty-Three Williams College Fortieth Year Report, by
the Class Historian, Thomas Todd Printer, Boston, 1903