from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Allen Brothers are proprietors of the Allendale stock farm and well known stock-raisers of this section of Iowa. Their father, Abner Allen, was born in Bethlehem, Litchfield county, Connecticut, February 16, 1819. His parents, James and Clarissa (Way) Allen, had a family of six children, three of whom reached adult age. Abner Allen was the eldest and was reared upon a farm. He had more than the ordinary school privileges and at the age of seventeen years began teaching, which profession he followed for three terms. On attaining his majority he started for the west, and after a brief stay in Cleveland, Ohio, went to Stark county, Ohio, where he was engaged in general merchandising for five years. In 1846 he returned to Connecticut, where he was married to Miss Hannah Hayes and in the town of Bethlehem he engaged in general merchandising, remaining there until the death of his wife in 1848. The following year, attracted by the discoveries on the Pacific coast, he made his way to the goldfields of California by the isthmus route and followed mining in this state for two years. He was very successful in a financial way and returned home by way of the Nicaragua route. In 1851 he married Miss Betsey Ann Hayes; a sister of his first wife, and in 1854 he came to Mahaska county, Iowa, establishing a mercantile enterprise in Oskaloosa under the firm name of Perkins & Allen. After a year he sold out and turned his attention to the queensware business, in which he continued until 1858. In 1860 he traded city property for a farm near Beacon, in the vicinity of Oskaloosa, and opened a coal mine, which he operated until 1865. In that year he returned to Connecticut and was engaged in farming for six years. He then went to Colorado for his wife's health, and was connected with the harness trade at Canon City for five years. In 1877 he returned to Mahaska county, where he engaged in farming on eight hundred acres of land, which had previously come into his possession. He made his home upon this place until August 22, 1901, when his life's labors were ended in death. His second wife, who was born in Connecticut, on January 3, 1830, is still living and now makes her home with a daughter in New Milford, Connecticut. Abner Allen was a very successful business man in all his undertakings. Nothing is impossible of accomplishment to him who has the will to dare and to do, and allows no thought of failure to enter his mind; and the word fail had no part in Mr. Allen's vocabulary. He possessed sound judgment and moreover was industrious and energetic. He was richly endowed in those sterling qualities which make an honored citizen, and all who knew him respected him for his genuine worth. In politics he was a democrat, and though often solicited to accept public office he never consented to do so, preferring to concentrate his attention upon his business affairs, in which he met with signal prosperity. He held membership in the Episcopal church: and his life was actuated by high and honorable motives. He represented an old New England family and his son is now in possetsion of genealogy of the Allings (Allens), of New Haven, Connecticut, from 1639 to the present time. In the father's family were three children, all of whom are now living: Minnie C., the wife of Charles B. Botsford, who resides in New Milford, Connecticut; and James H. and George G., of this review. James H. Allen was born in Oskaloosa, September 14, 1855, was educated in the city schools and in a select school in New Haven, Connecticut, where he spent one winter. He always lived with his parents, and in his youth learned the harness-maker's trade in Canon City, Colorado, where he worked for his father for four years. On the 11th of December, 1889, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Irwin, who was born in Beacon, Iowa, September 22, 1863, and is a daughter of J. W. Irwin, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. James H. Allen returned to the home farm in Mahaska county in 1877 and operated the land and also carried on the farm after his father's' death, when, with his brother, George G., he came into possession of this property. Unto him and his wife have been born two children: Irwin A., born May 6, 1891; and Walter H., born June 13, 1895. Both are bright young men at home and the elder is attending the New Sharon schools. George G. Allen has never married and lives on the home farm with his brother. They own four hundred acres of good land with good buildings, and in fact, have a splendidly developed property. They have a registered herd of Aberdeen Angus polled cattle which they raise for breeding purposes, and in this business are meeting with splendid success. They also carry on general farming and annually produce good crops as a reward for the care and labor they bestow on the fields. In politics James H. Allen is a democrat and has held the office of school treasurer. His fraternal relations are with the Masons. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church of New Sharon but both attend the Christian church at Union Mills. The firm of Allen Brothers is a very reliable and prominent one in the county, and the Allendale stock farm is widely famed because of the fine Aberdeen Angus cattle here raised.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy