Sylvester Ruffus Allen (commonly known as Ruffus Allen), sometimes spelled as Rufus. He was born 4 May 1880 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He was the son of Sylvester Joseph Allen & Martha Thomson Clayton. He married Faith Wilbur Ostrander 23 November 1902 at the house of P.S.C. Davis in Berkley, South Norfolk, Virginia. He served in the Navy during the Spanish-American War from October 23, 1899 when he enlisted until September 27, 1901 when he was discharged because of the loss of sight in his right eye, which happened shortly after he was cleaning a paint locker in the double-bottoms of the U.S.S. Texas. He served on the U.S.S. Franklin from his time of enlistment until November 26, 1899 when he was transferred to U.S.S. Texas from that date until October 31, 1900 when he was sent back to the Franklin until November 30, 1900 when he was transferred to the U.S.S. Massachusetts where he spent the rest of his time in the Navy until discouragement.
Upon leaving the Navy he apprenticed under his father, Joseph as a carpenter in Norfolk City. He met and married Faith Wilbur Ostrander, the daughter of Abraham Cline "Abram" Ostrander and Harriet Louise Ostrander, who lived at Berkley, Virginia (in South Norfolk) at the time. He lost all sight in his right eye and eventually the infection went to his brain. In his last few years he repaired railway cars for the old A&D Railroad. He died at his home at 221 Charleston Ave., in Prentiss Park, in Norfolk, Virginia on the 19 of March 1914 due to Uremia and Nephritis. Nephritis is the inflammation of the kidneys caused by infections or toxins. In Ruffus' case, his kidney's were not able to pass the toxins from his blood stream into the kidneys (Uremia).
In 1909 Ruffus was 150 lbs., 5' 7" tall, had blue-gray eyes, light brown hair, fair complexion and two tattoos he received during his service; one of a woman's leg on his left, lower forearm and another of a cross in between his thumb and index finger of his right hand.
He lived in Berkley from 1892 until 1893, and at 3 Alexander Street in Norfolk in 1894, then at 103 Washington Street in Berkley from 1895 until 1896 and then at 905 Pine Street in Portsmouth, between Chestnut & Pearl from 1897 until 1898 and then at 932 South Street in Portsmouth in 1899 and then in Berkley by October of 1899. Then he lived at Norfolk from 1901 until 1903, then again at Berkley from 1903 until 1905, Portsmouth from 1905 to 1906, Lamberts Point from 1906 until 1908, and finally Portsmouth from 1908 until 1914, his address being 221 Charleston Avenue in 1909.
Ruffus was a member of the Patriotic Order (Sons of America), as well as the Merrimac Lodge, No. 188 (Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen). Ruffus is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth. He, along with 11 other people are buried in unmarked groves on one individual plot of land, marked "Strangers".
I have a copy of his death certificate, obituary, service papers, some medical records, signatures, two pictures, and his and Faith's marriage license. If you are interested in obtaining this, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from fellow Allen family members!