William T. Allan, son of John Allan and Nancy (Hodge) Allan, was born 7 Dec. 1810 in Sumner County, Tenn. He moved to Huntsville, Alabama around 1820 where his father was pastor of the Presbyterian Church.
Graduated from Centreville College (Danville, Kentucky) in 1832. Then attended Lane Seminary in Ohio, under Dr. Lyman Beecher. Became a member and leader of the antislavery society at Lane Seminary. As a result of the trustees and Faculty attempting to dissolve the society, nearly all of the theological students left Lane and became known as the Lane Seminary Rebels. William then attended Oberlin College where he graduated.
Became a lecturer on abolition principles, in the employ of the Illinois Anti-slavery Society for six years. He then preached in Peoria and Geneseo, Illinois where he also taught and resided for the rest of his life.
First married Irene Ball, a student at Oberlin. After her death, he married Caroline Snow, the widow of Rev. Jason Chapin, on 24 July 1849 in Henry County, IL. One child, Irene (Allan) Townsend.
He served on the school board and was justice of the peace. His home was a station on the Underground Railroad.