Edward Payson Allen, one of the well known and highly esteemed citizens of Montgomery county, where he was a pioneer settler, is descended from fine old Irish ancestors, who settled in America previous to the Revolution and played no inconspicuous part in the war which severed the colonies from the Mother Country. He, with his wife and oldest child, came to Kansas in 1870, and on Oct 16 of that year took up a claim in section 31, town 33, range 16, where, as a farmer, he began his career in Kansas. He was born in Green county, Kentucky, Jan. 3, 1843, the son of William B. and Huldah (Wilcox) Allen. The Allens came originally from the north of Ireland; they emigrated from the old country about 1630 and finally settled in Rockbridge county, Virginia, establishing the American branch of the family. Edward's great-grandfather, John Allen, and his oldest paternal great-uncle, Robert Allen, were soldiers in the Revolutionary war, and at the close of the struggle for American independence, left Virginia, crossed the mountains, and became pioneers of Kentucky, where they afterward died and were buried. David Allen, the son of John Allen, was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, Oct. 16, 1773, and came to Kentucky with his father about 1784. During the war of 1812, he followed in the footsteps of his progenitors and served with the Kentucky troops against England and her Indian allies, he died in Green county, Kentucky, in 1816. His son, William B., was a native of Kentucky, and by profession a lawyer. He was a graduate of the Nashville (Tenn.) Seminary, and for many years successfully practiced law at Greensburg, Ky., where he passed his life. He was a Royal Arch Mason, and was once the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Huldah Wilcox, Edward's mother, was descended from old Puritan stock, members of that brave band who faced not only the perils of the sea, but those of a wild, new country, that they might worship God in the manner dictated by their own hearts. She was born in Connecticut, the daughter of Eli Wilcox, and became the mother of six children that reached maturity: William, Jennie, Harriet B., Edward P., Mary, and Ella M.
Edward P. Allen obtained a good practical education in the private schools of Greensburg, Ky., which he attended until his eighteenth year, when, although a lad, he responded to the call for volunteers at the beginning of the Civil war, and enlisted in the Thirteenth Kentucky infantry, Company E, as first sergeant, under Col. E. H. Hobson. The regiment saw its first service in Kentucky, and participated in the battles of Mill Springs, Shiloh, Perryville, Stone's River and many minor engagements and skirmishes. Mr. Allen was promoted three months after his enlistment to second lieutenant, and was discharged as such at Louisville, Ky., at the expiration of three years. Soon after the close of the war he engaged in the mercantile business at Mattoon, Ill., where he remained until 1867. That year he returned to Greensburg, Ky., conducted a store for two years and then returned to Mattoon, Ill., from which place he started overland on his journey to Kansas, as there were few railroads west of the Mississippi river at that early day. On his claim in Montgomery county he built a rude house, which still stands, and many are the recollections of hardship, trials and poverty endured with fortitude, which centered around this first home in the West. In 1873 Mr. Allen located in Independence and opened a store, where he met with gratifying success. Soon after locating in the town, although a Democrat, he was nominated for the office of county recorder, and notwithstanding the fact that his political party was in the minority, was elected by several hundred votes. Mr. Allen's personal popularity won him this election and a reëlection in 1879. Four years he served in this office, to the entire satisfaction of the people, and retired with credit in 1882; then for two years he engaged in the insurance and brokerage business. In 1885 he became a director of the First National Bank, and the next year he bought the interest of the cashier of the institution. The management reorganized, and Mr. Allen was the unanimous choice for president. He served as the efficient executive of the bank until when he resigned the presidency, but retains a position on the board of directors. For nearly twenty years Mr. Allen served as president of the bank, and largely to him is due the success of the institution, which today is one of the soundest and largest banking houses in the State of Kansas. In addition to his banking interests in Independence, Mr. Allen is vice-president of the Caney Valley National Bank, of Caney, Kan., and is a director of the Home National Bank, of Longton, Kan. He has invested considerably in good farm lands and has other commercial interests of different character. He is a self-made man, has forged ahead to his present preëminent position by his own ability and determination to succeed, and now holds an enviable position in popular esteem and respect. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1864; is a Knight Templar Mason and his life exemplifies the principles of that fraternity.
On May 2, 1865, Mr. Allen married Mary F. Vansant, in Coles county, Illinois. She was the daughter of Isaiah and Martha J. Vansant, of Fleming county, Kentucky, where she was born, Aug. 27, 1846. The following children have been born to this union Mattie H., who married James F. Blackledge; Edith, who is the wife of R. W. Cates; Lillian, wife of H. H. Kahn; and Annie, who became the wife of Glenn H. Amsbury. Mr. Allen is the happy grandfather of ten bright grandchildren, and is never so happy as when they are with him.Pages 253-255 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project