Hudson Joshua Creighton Allison was born in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada on 9 December 1881, the son of Jesse Rose Allison and Pheobe Johnston. He had three siblings: Margaret born on 9 April 1876, George born on 16 October, 1879 and William "percy" born on 21 March 1887.
Slender and saturnine, with a good head for figures he was imbued with the Protestant work ethic. Nicknamed "Hud", he worked for a time as a clerk in Chester Casselman's General Store in Chesterville, but at the age of 19, his uncle, George "Frank" Johnston, hired him to head the junior division of the brokerage firm in Montreal he had started with John Wilson McConnell, who would later buy the Montreal Star newspaper. The three men were members of Montreal's so called "Methodist Mafia", upstarts in Canadian financial circles. Allison was sent to Buffalo to learn shorthand, worked as an insurance agent for his uncle at the New York Life Insurance company, then was sent to Winnipeg where he opened an office.
During one of his frequent train trips back to Montreal he met Bess Waldo Daniels, the young but matronly daughter of an Irish American factory clerk, originally from Massachusetts. They were married in Milwaukee on his 26th birthday (9 December 1907); Bess had just turned 21.
The Allisons were devout Methodists - they taught Sunday school, Bible Classes, and Hudson often served as a lay preacher. Their daughter, Helen Loraine was born 5 June 1909, and their son, Hudson Trevor on 7 May 1911. The same year they began the Allison Stock Farm near Winchester, Ontario, and built a new house in Westmount, Quebec.
Mr. Allison was on the board of the British Lumber Corporation, and sailed to England for a directors' meeting. While there, they had Trevor baptized at Epworth in the church where Methodist Founder John Wesley had preached. They took a side trip to the Scottish Highlands where Hudson bought two dozen Clydesdales and Hackney Stallions and mares for the stock farm. At the same time, they picked up furniture and recruited household staff for their two residences - George Swane was hired as a chauffeur, Mildred Brown as a cook, Alice Cleaver as a nursemaid for Trevor and Sarah Daniels as a Lady's maid for Bess.
Like many others, the Allisons had altered travel plans to sail back with old friends on Titanic. They paid £151 16s for three cabins on the Upper Deck C-22/24/26. (ticket number113781). Mr and Mrs Allison were in one suite, Sarah Daniels and Loraine in another and Alice Cleaver and Trevor in the third. The other household servants travelled second class.
On the last night of their lives, Hudson and Bess Allison sat down to dinner with Major Peuchen and Harry Molson; Bess brought Loraine briefly into the Jacobean dining room so she could see how pretty it was.
When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Alice Cleaver took Trevor and left with him in lifeboat 11. Bess Allison was put in a boat with Loraine, but refused to leave the ship without her baby. She dragged Loraine out of the boat and started searching for Alice and Trevor.
"Mrs Allison could have gotten away in perfect safety," Major Arthur Peuchen told the Montreal Daily Star "But somebody told her Mr Allison was in a boat being lowered on the opposite side of the deck, and with her little daughter she rushed away from the boat. Apparently she reached the other side to find that Mr Allison was not there. Meanwhile, our boat had put off."
Bess, Hudson and Loraine perished in the disaster. Only Hudson Allison's body was recovered: #135.
NO. 135. - MALE.
CLOTHING - Leather coat; blue suit; grey silk muffler.
EFFECTS - Keys; letters; photos; stock book; three pocket diaries; one C. P. Railway ticket book; two pocket books; card case; $143.00 in notes; chain with insurance medals; £15 in gold; $100.00 Thomas Cook & Sons travellers' cheque; £35 in notes; gold cuff links; diamond solitaire ring; gold stud; knife; silver tie clip; $4.40 in odd coins; traveller's ticket.
Mr Allison's body was buried in the Allison family plot in Maple Ridge cemetery near Winchester, Ont.
Funeral services for the Allison family were held at the Douglas Methodist Church in Montreal on Sunday April 21. "The pew in which Mr and Mrs Allison had attended the service of the church so often was draped in black and purple, and in the centre was a huge floral offering from the members of the congregation among whom the young couple were highly esteemed."
One month after the funeral, Hudson's brother Percy took delivery of the horses that Allison had arranged to be shipped by tramp steamer from Scotland.