Biography - Alfred F. Allen

ALFRED F. ALLEN. County Clerk of Shelby County, is one of our most able and popular civic officials, he is a native of Indiana, born in Sugar Creek Township, Parke County, March 3, 1847. His father, James Allen, and his grandfather, Thomas Allen, were Virginians by birth. The father of the latter who was also named Thomas, served seven years as a spy in the interests of the Colonists during the Revolution. He was a man of a bold, resolute character, fearless and undaunted in time of peril, and his services were invaluable in securing information of the movements of the enemy for his superior officers, he removed from Virginia to Kentucky about 1812, and was a pioneer of that State. In 1822 he went to Indiana to spend his last years, and made his home with his son in Fountain County until death closed his mortal career. His remains were deposited in Wolf Creek Cemetery in Park County.
The grandfather of our subject spent his early life in his native Virginia, and was there married to Elizabeth Summers, who was also of Virginian birth. In August, 1812, accompanied by his family, he went to Kentucky, and for some years resided in the wilds of that State. In 1822 he made another move and became a resident of Indiana, being among the first to settle on the line between Parke and Fountain Counties, performing the journey thither with teams and pack horses. He entered a tract of land in Parke and Fountain Counties, and built a house on the Fountain County side of the line, in which he lived until his death in October, 1844 removed from that locality one of its most useful pioneers. His wife survived him until 1879, when she too passed away on the home farm in Indiana.
The father of our subject was a lad of twelve years when the family sought a new home in the forest wilds of Indiana, where he grew to manhood on his father's farm. After marriage he settled on a tract of timber land he purchased in Sugar Creek Township, he and his bride beginning housekeeping in a log house, which was the birthplace of our subject. They resided there until 1857, when Mr. Allen sold that place, and coming to Shelby County, bought a farm in Big Spring Township. He lived thereon some years, and then sold it, and removing to Strasburg, is passing his declining years in retirement, well-earned by a long and honorable life of industry, with his children. He was deprived of the companionship of his beloved wife by her death in 1879 at Strasburg. She was a native of Kentucky and bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Nickolls. Her father, John Nickolls, a native of North Carolina, was an early pioneer of Kentucky, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a teacher by profession. The maiden name of his wife was Elsie Wilson. The parents of our subject reared six children, of whom the following are the names: Thomas, Alexander, James F., William, Alfred F. and Robert H.
Alfred F. Allen inherited in a good degree those fine traits of character of the sturdy Revolutionary and pioneer stock from which he is descended, some of our best citizens coming from such an ancestry. When he was ten years old his parents brought him from the home of his birth to Shelby County, and from that time until his marriage he was of much assistance to his father in the improvement of his farm. He was a thoughtful, studious lad, and in the district schools, which he attended quite steadily during his youth, he laid the basis of a sound education whereby he was well-equipped for the profession of a teacher, and he entered upon its duties at the age of twenty-two years. He taught the greater part of the time the ensuing fourteen years, and then abandoned that calling to accept a position as clerk in a store at Strasburg. He remained a resident of that village until 1886, and during that time was appointed Postmaster at that place, he being the first in the county to receive an appointment at the hands of President Cleveland. He gave every satisfaction as an incumbent of that office, as he managed its affairs after a most business-like manner, and was always courteous in his intercourse with the people of the village, by whom he was well-known, and who appreciated his genial social qualities and the worth of his character.
In 1886 Mr. Allen removed to Shelbyville to assume the duties of County Clerk, to which position he had been recently elected. He has ever since retained the office, and it is conceded on all sides, without regard to party, that no man better qualified in every way could have been selected, as he brings a good understanding of the duties required of him, and a clear, well-trained intellect to bear upon his work, and his books will bear the inspection of the most critical. He is an ardent Democrat, and has been since he cast his first Presidential vote for Horace Greeley, always keeping himself well-informed in politics. While a resident of Strasburg he was an important figure in its public and social life, and held several local offices. He served as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public of that village, was at one time Town Clerk, and also acted as Assessor and as School Treasurer. He is a member of Jackson Lodge, No. 53, A. F. & A. M.; of Jackson Chapter, No. 55, R. A. M.; of Black Hawk Lodge, No. 183, K. P., and of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Allen was first married April 17, 1873, to Miss Mary E. Davis, a native of Moultrie County, and a daughter of Charles Davis. She died in 1879 after a few brief years of wedded happiness, leaving three children, Ida I. and Maggie and one since deceased. Mr. Allen was married in 1880 to his present estimable wife, formerly Miss Allie J. Storm, a native of Ash Grove Township, this county, and a daughter of John C. Storm. By this marriage two children have been born, Flora and one deceased.

Extracted 08 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 239-240.

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