But, here with have it. It seems that a Harrison H. Allen from New Gretna, N.J. had an acne problem that was cured by Poslam Pimple Cream, and he was not shy in recommending the product.
The name, Harrison Allen didn't ring a bell with me. I got to wondering, if the ad was true, just who this Harrison was and how he fit into the New Gretna Allen families. Was he a short Allen or a Tall Allen, who were his parents, and where in New Gretna did he live?
The first Harry Allen was single, 20 years old, and lived with his parents, John L. and Sarah F. Allen on West Greenbush Road.
The second Harry Allen was also single, 21 years old, a head of a household with no family listed, and resided on East Main Road which would have been the present day Route 9.
There was no information in the 1910 census to a conclude that one of the two Harrys might be our Harrison, so my next step was to go to the 1920 census to look for a Harrison. If not one of the Harrys, he may have been missed in the 1910 census and perhaps appeared in the next census 10 years later.
Finally, I hit pay dirt! The 1920 Bass River census lists a Harrison Allen with his wife, Rose, and Virginia, a 4 year old daughter. It's not enough information to tie the family in with a New Gretna branch of the Allen family, but it does confirm that Harrison did live in New Gretna as stated in the ad.
The census doesn't list the street or neighborhood in which the Harrison family resided; however, a review of Harrison's neighbors listed on the same census page gives us a clue. Five Corlis households are also listed. There is only one place in Bass River Township where you would find a concentration of Corlis homes. That would be Sym Place in the far western area of Bass River where a small, isolated community grew up around a cranberry plantation.
A visit to Ancestry.com provided more evidence that Harrison was indeed a New Gretna resident as stated in the medicine ad. I was able to find a 1917 World War I Draft Registration Card for a Harrison Allen from New Gretna. It lists him as a Bayman with a wife and 2 year old child, information that agrees with the 1920 census data. Unfortunately, it doesn't list his parents which would be valuable information in connecting him to a New Gretna Allen family.
So, after our serendipitous journey from a Syracuse, New York newspaper ad, through the 1910 and 1920 Bass River Township census, and ending with a World War I Draft Registration Card, we have verified that Harrison Allen was, indeed, a resident of New Gretna as the pimple cream ad stated. My faith in truth in advertising has been restored!
However, while I now know that the Harrison Allen family resided in New Gretna, I still don't know how they fit into the New Gretna Allen families. There are still some outstanding questions to be answered. Was Harrison a short Allen or a tall Allen? Who were his parents? Was he one of the Harrys listed in the 1910 census?
Perhaps, there is an Allen out in the Blog-O-Sphere who remembers hearing about an ancestor with an acne problem and can answer some of these questions. I sure could use some help!
PS- For information concerning the short and tall Allens of New Gretna, please CLICK HERE.