By 1808Delaware

In the 1880s, Lieutenant Horace Allen, the great-nephew of famed patriot Ethan Allen of Vermont, resided on South Sandusky Street in Delaware. He was over 80 years old, and he had a health problem.

For some time, Allen had been greatly impacted by rheumatism, which his doctor had diagnosed could not be cured. To deal with his illness, he decided to undertake the “wheelbarrow cure.”

He secured a light wheelbarrow with a red tin box, placed his wardrobe in it, and set out for Boston. On foot.

As he passed through each state, he later told newspaper friends in Philadelphia, he felt the stiffness diminish. By the time he reached Masschusetts, he felt wonderful. Entering Boston he enjoyed “…a season of rest in great triumph and a little fatigue.”

He left Boston by train (which one would), and headed for a sightseeing trip around Washington D.C.. No word on what happened to the wheelbarrow.

The newspaper account of his journey noted that he was “…one of Ohio’s most pushing citizens.”

Courtesy of a passport application he completed in 1867, we know that Allen was 5 foot 11 inches tall with brown hair and light blue eyes.

Horace Allen is buried in Delaware’s Oak Grove Cemetery.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, Ancestry.com

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