George Reuben Allen, a well known lawyer of Kansas City, Kan., is the descendant of a family that has been in existence in America nearly 300 years, having been founded by Samuel Allen, who came to America from Dorchester, England, in 1635, and first settled in Massachusetts, but in 1637 removed to Windsor, Conn. The Allen name was a prominent one during colonial times and during the Revolutionary period. Ethan Allen, the Revolutionary hero, famous in history for his capture of Ticonderoga, where he forced the commander to surrender "in the name of the Almighty God and Continental Congress," was a cousin of William Allen, Sr., the great-great-grandfather of George R., of this review.
George Reuben Allen was born on a farm in Atchison county, eight miles west of the city of Atchison, Jan. 11, 1870, and is a son of Joseph Cloyes Allen, a carpenter and farmer by vocation, who was born at Salisbury, Vt., Aug. 2, 1826. He came to Kansas in June, 1857, from the State of Michigan, and first located in the city of Atchison, but subsequently removed to the farm in Atchison county, where George R. was born. The father died in Lancaster, Atchison county, Dec. 19, 1889, having resided on the old home farm until 1888. He was twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1850, was a Miss Martha Harrison, of Virginia, who died in 1863, leaving three children, none of whom are living. His second marriage occurred March 2, 1865, and united him to Mary Elizabeth Miller, of Cass county, Michigan, who died in Atchison in 1899. Two children were born to the second marriage: George Reuben, and Mrs. Anna Moore, of Atchison. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Reuben Allen, who was born in Vermont March 3, 1799, and married Demarias Cloyes Jan. 3, 1822. Reuben Allen was the son of William Allen, born in Tolland county, Connecticut, in 1765, whose father's name was also William Allen. Both William Allen, Sr., and William Allen, Jr., father and son, served in the Revolutionary war. William Allen, Sr., was the cousin of Ethan Allen, as mentioned before.
Mary Elizabeth Miller, mother of George R., was a daughter of George S. Miller and Maria Follett, natives of New Jersey and New York respectively. They were married in Cass county, Michigan, in 1843. Maria Follett was the daughter of Dr. John Follett, a prominent physician of Cass county, Michigan, in his day, who died in 1849, and had removed to Cass county, Michigan, from New York state about 1838, becoming one of its pioneers. The Miller family was of German descent, the name originally being spelled Mueller. The Follett family was of English descent and had resided in New York state since long before the Revolution.
George Reuben Allen was reared on the home farm in Atchison county, and accompanied his father's family to the city of Atchison in 1888. From 1893 to 1897 he taught school in Atchison county, the last four terms having been taught in the old home school which he had attended when a boy. During the summer vacations of his teaching period he conducted the old home farm, and during that period he also took care of his mother and sister, giving the latter's education his close supervision. Aside from his duties and cares of that period he found time to devote to the study of law, and so thorough was his self-preparation for that profession that he was able to graduate at the University of Kansas in one year, which he did with the class of 1898, as a Bachelor of Laws. He at once began his law practice in Abilene, where he remained two years, and then removed to Kansas City, Kan., in 1900, and has there since been engaged in successful practice. The same tenacity of purpose which characterized his preparation for the profession has helped him to establish a reputation as an able, conscientious and successful lawyer. In politics Mr. Allen is an active member of the Republican party. He was elected to the state legislature in 1908, and was reëlected in 1910 by a largely increased majority. During his first term in the legislature he served as chairman of the committee on insurance and as vice-chairman of the committee on railroads, as well as other committee assignments. He made a fine record as a first-term member and became prominent in the work of the legislature, being the author of some of the principal laws enacted during that session. Among others he secured the passage of the fee and salary bill, which provides for counties above 90,000 population a fixed salary for all county officials in such counties and placing fees in the public treasury.
Mr. Allen was married March 12, 1893, to Miss Eva Underwood, also a native of Atchison county, born April 1, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have three children living: Devere Frank, born Dec. 22, 1898; Richard Floyd, born Oct. 22, 1903; and George Reuben Allen, Jr., born Nov. 1, 1904. The eldest child, Arthur Cloyes, died in infancy.
Mr. Allen is a member of the Baptist church. He is a Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite Mason and Encampment Degree Odd Fellow. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen and is a member of the board of directors of the fraternal society known as the Mystic Workers of the World. Professionally he affiliates with the Wyandotte County Bar Association. Mr. Allen is also a fine public speaker and has been frequently called upon to deliver public addresses not only in Kansas but in other states. His record during the session of 1911 was even more brilliant than that of his first term, having been appointed chairman of the railroad committee by Speaker Buckman, and having given excellent service on that committee, as well as on the several other committees of which he was a member. The law providing for the registration of births and deaths throughout the state is largely due to his active and influential support.Pages 614-616 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.
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