Richard Allen

RICHARD ALLEN has been professor of history in the Montgomery County High School since the organization of that excellent institution more than fifteen years ago. He is one of the most widely known educators in Southern Kansas.

His Allen ancestors came originally from England, one branch settling in Massachusetts and the other in Virginia during colonial days. His grandfather, William Allen, was born in Virginia in 1780, and some years later the family moved across the mountains into Kentucky, and subsequently became early settlers in Illinois. William Allen died in White County, Illinois, in 1845.

Richard Allen was born in Logan County, Illinois, December 7, 1864. His father, B. F. Allen, was born in White County of that state in 1833, and was one of the Kansas pioneers. Reared in Illinois, and taking up the vocation of farmer there he first came out to Kansas in 1859, when it was still a territory. He spent some time near Augusta in Butler County, being there when the population was almost completely composed of Indians and before the homestead act was passed. He afterwards returned to Illinois, and served as a soldier in the Civil war, but after four months was incapacitated being taken ill with cholera and his life was despaired of for some time. After the war he followed farming in Logan County, Illinois, but in 1871 emigrated across the country in a prairie schooner and established his home and family at Elk City, where he bought his farm of 240 acres. He retired from farming about 1896, and afterwards sold the old place. His death occurred in Elk City in 1912. He was a republican and active in the Methodist Episcopal Church. B. F. Allen married Elizabeth Kello, who was born in White County, Illinois, in 1836, and is now living in Elk City. Their children were: Annie, deceased; George N., a merchant at Elk City; William and John F., both deceased; James, who follows the oil fields and lives at Boynton, Oklahoma; Frank, deceased; Richard; Minnie, deceased; Thomas, who lives at Independence; Jacob, Fred and Benjamin, all deceased; and Lewis, the thirteenth child, who is in the advertising business at Chicago.

Prof. Richard Allen received his early education in the public schools of Montgomery County. The first seventeen years of his life he spent on his father's farm, and then qualified and began his work as a teacher. He taught in Montgomery County schools eight years, in Labette County one year, again in Montgomery County for two years, was principal of schools at Cherryvale, and in 1895-96 was superintendent of schools at Harper, Kansas. He had attended the State Normal School at Emporia and in 1898 was graduated and granted a life certificate. From Harper he went to Moline, and was superintendent of schools there for three years, until he accepted his present position as professor of history in the Montgomery County High School at Independence in 1899. In 1914 he was granted the degree of Bachelor of Arts and in 1915 the Master of Arts degree by the State Teachers College of Greeley, Colorado.

Politically Mr. Allen is a republican, is a member of the Methodist Church, and is affiliated with Fortitude Lodge No. 107, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Camp No. 649, Modern Woodmen of America. Though a school man is always supposed to be poor Mr. Allen has acquired some property, including his residence at 6ll West Main Street and other houses in the city, and a farm in Colorado.

In 1891 at Cherryvale, Kansas, he married Miss Claria E. Barick, who for a number of years was a teacher in the schools of Kansas. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Barick. Her father is still living, a retired farmer at Cherryvale.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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