biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
ABNER ALLEN, a prominent resident of Union Township, is a pioneer of 1854. He is a native of Bethlehem, Litchfield Co., Conn., his birth taking place Feb. 16, 1819, and is a son of James and Clarissa (Way) Allen, who were also natives of that State, as were their ancestors as far back as known. Abner is the eldest of six sons, only three of whom grew to manhood, and are yet living: James resides on the old homestead, and George P. near his native place. The subject of our sketch was reared to farm life, and managed during the winter months of his early, life to gain a more than ordinary education, and at the age of seventeen commenced teaching, which he followed for three sessions. At the age of twenty-one years, he turned his face westward, stopping first at Cleveland, Ohio, but removing soon after to Stark County, where he engaged in general merchandising, and continued the business for five years. In 1846 Mr. Allen returned to Connecticut, and was united in marriage with Hannah Hayes, a native of Litchfield County. He established himself at Bethlehem and remained until the death of his wife, which occurred in 1848. The following year Mr. Allen went to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, following mining for two years, and returned via the Nicaraugua route, the trip proving a successful one financially. In the fall of 1851 he married Betsy Ann Hayes, a sister of his first wife. In 1854 they came to Iowa, locating at Oskaloosa, and be began merchandising, associated with a Mr. Perkins, under the firm name of Perkins & Allen. This association continued one year, when Mr. Allen retired from the firm, running the queensware business alone until 1858, when he entered into a partnership under the firm name of Cooper & Allen, and operated a tannery for two years. In the year 1860 he traded his city property for a farm near Oskaloosa, upon which he opened a coal mine, and operated the same until 1865. During that year he leased the mine, returned to his native State, and followed farming for six years. Returning again to Oskaloosa, on account of his wife's health, and finding it did not improve in this latitude, as he expected, he removed to Colorado, and resided at Canon City for five years, engaged in the harness business. During all this migration he still retained the ownership of his property in this county, returning annually to look after his interests, and in 1877 returned to Mahaska County, settling at his present residence, and gives his entire attention to farming and stock-raising. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are the parents of three children: Minnie C. is the wife of Charles B. Botsford, to whom she was married in Colorado, and resides in Connecticut, her native. State; James H. and George G. reside at home. In his political relations Mr. Allen is a Democrat. Himself and wife are members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Allen owns over 800 acres of land in the county. His possessions are in an excellent state of cultivation, with good and substantial improvements. In 1884 he purchased a pair of Polled-Angus cattle, but now has a herd of over fifty head of high-grade cattle of that breed, which so far as we are able to learn, is the only herd of such cattle in this county. He started in life with $1000 in cash, given him by his father, but spent it all before he learned how to handle money skillfully. The experience gained was, however, of great value, and he profited by it. He found that the royal road to wealth, of which he possesses a fair share, was one of industry, good judgment and proper economy, and it has brought abundant fruit. As a successful business man, farmer and stockraiser, Mr. Allen occupies a prominent position in the front rank. As a citizen, neighbor and friend, none are more fully established in the confidence and esteem of the public than he. He has led an honorable and upright life, with never a deviation from that line of duty which teaches that a man should do unto others as he would they should do unto him.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy