This past week, I became aware of some of his writings submitted to the local newspaper back in 1919. I knew many of these details but the way they are so artfully written really touched me. And I think it will touch you too.
It was only as I reached my 30’s and I began my exploration into holistic areas that I saw some of the original letters. John Henry wrote my grandpa when he was just a young boy when he had broken his leg. It was a serious break and he gave suggestions on how to think about the break and what he could do. When I became a Feldenkrais practitioner my Grandpa Henry said “You take after your great, great grandpa. He too used mind over matter.” He talked about people coming for miles to see him. How he would just lay his hand on a head for a long time and horrible headaches went away. I wondered what he actually did, and eventually I realized he had studied early osteopathy and yoga (all by correspondence course) among other things. He also taught music (although he didn’t play) and he would travel town to town and people would come for music lessons with Professor Allen.
PROF. ALLEN W RITES, MIRACULOUS RECOVERY FROM WAR WOUNDS
Osage County Republican Mar. 20, 1919
The battle of Iuka, Miss. occurred Sept. 19, 1862 (history has it the 20th) when a 1½ ounce ball, fired from a Belgian musket in the hands of a Mississippi rebel passed through both my thighs, lower third, just behind femurs, cutting or tearing off lower third of biceps, and severing three fourths of ligaments – split ligaments into threads from wounds to knees and eight inches above wounds.
I lay on the field till 10 o’clock the following day, and was reported dead, but when the detail to bury came around I objected. It would take too much space to tell one half of my experience while my wounds were healing. After they healed, I returned home the following March, but was unable to board a passenger car without help.
My thighs and legs were greatly reduced in size, and my legs and feet were always cold for the lack of blood, my knees were flexed so that my limbs were 2 ½ inches short and could not have been straightened without breaking the ligaments.
I did some manual labor during the next 20 years, tho always at disadvantage. Got rheumatism and was told I must quit work or I’d find myself all drawed up into a knot and all the doctors in the state could not straighten me out. I took the suggestion and began to draw up alright. I passed many a weary week when I couldn’t put on my coat without help, and knots would form in my arm pits and other parts of my body as large as an orange and last for days, and I wore a cane for twenty years. In 1898 I began to study Psycho Therapeutics, suggestive Therapeutics, Osteopathy and several other scientific studies. From these I learned that the body is being worn out and renewed every little while, and that the kind of material built in depends entirely on the mental attitude.
In 1899-1900-01 I received several diplomas. Well, I was my first patient, with the result that in April 1902 I threw away my cane, and in May took hold of the plow handles and have made a hand on the farm ever since. Last fall I did the major part of the work of preparing land and sowing 52 acres of wheat, and sowed some wheat for a neighbor. My knees are as straight as a baby’s – have not felt a pain in wounded parts for 16 years. I will be 75 years young March 19, 1919… I used to weigh 115 pounds in winter and 125 in summer. Now I weigh 140.
Yours for health,
J. H. Allen, D.S.T,
Chamois, MO, Route 2
John H. Allen was seventeen years old when he enlisted in Co. B. of the Osage County Home Guards. As soon as the Home Guards were disbanded he enlisted under Capt. John F. F. Koops of Company H, 26th Missouri Volunteer Infantry.
Source: A letter to the Osage County Republican in 1919