NELSON E. ALLEN, a partner in the Parsons Lumber Company, is one of the most enterprising and prosperous business men of Parsons, Kansas. Mr. Allen is a direct descendant of the famous Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame. His parents, William D. and Eleanor (Thompson) Allen, were born in the Empire State, - his father, in 1826, and his mother, in 1834. They are still living, and reside on a farm near Oswego, Kansas. Eight children were born to this worthy couple, as follows: E. C., who is a traveling salesman, of Denver, Colorado; F. D., who carries on a general merchandise business: at Baldwin, Kansas; F. A., a traveling man, of Denver; C. W., who, at the age of twenty-seven years, was killed in the mines, at Webb City,, Mssouri; Celia (Cloud), residing near Oswego, Kansas; Nelson E., the subject of this biography; L. J., a home missionary of the Presbyterian church, now located at Colby, Kansas; and Ella, wife of Charles Perkins, residing near Oswego, Kansas.
Nelson E. Allen, was born in February, 1862, in Livingston county, New York, which was also the birthplace of his father. When he was but two years old, his parents went west, to Lyon county, Kansas, and settled at Waushara, where they remained ten years. When he was twelve years old, the family removed to Chetopa, Labette county, Kansas, and young Nelson received his mental training in the public schools of that place. His, first work was performed in the grocery store of Allen Brothers, of Chetopa, who then did business at the present stand of White & Bates, and were pioneer business men of that town.
Mr. Allen continued to follow the grocery business until 1882, and then accepted a position as clerk at McCreery's lumber yard at Parsons, which he held two years. During the "boom" of Western Kansas, he spent four years in Scott and Hamilton counties, the first year, with F. P. Dicus & Company, lumbermen, and about an equal length of time as a partner in the general merchandise and banking house of Millikin & Brandt, where he acted as cashier. Messrs. Millikin and Brandt were both attorneys and pioneer settlers of Labette county; both died several years later, of consumption. Mr. Allen also served two years as cashier of the Kendall State Bank.
Returning to Labette county, in 1893, Mr. Allen had charge of the lumber business of Clark & Bates, at Chetopa, for three years, and then became manager for the same company, at Parsons. He retained the latter position until the spring of 1900, when the present company, which includes C. K. Leinbach as a partner, was formed. The Parsons Lumber Company is undoubtedly one of the most flourishing lumber companies in Parsons. It carries a full line of building materials, brick, lime, cement, house furnishing materials, and also yellow and white pine, cypress, redwood and cedar shingles. It purchases material from, perhaps, 20 different firms, - the greater part of its sash and doors coming from Kansas City and St. Louis. Its extensive lumber yards cover a ground space of 162 by 150 feet, and have ample shed-room for contractor's supplies, etc., which they also handle.
The office of the company is a fine building and is the same formerly used by William Mexwell, now deceased, who was a pioneer lumberman of Parsons, and whose son, the present William Mexwell, is the efficient and accommodating bookkeeper for the company. From two to three workmen are kept constantly employed about the yards, as the company enjoys, undoubtedly, a larger patronage than any other lumber firm in the city. Besides being a member of this firm, Mr. Allen is also the junior member of the firm of Gilkerson & Allen, lumber dealers of Welch, Indian Territory.
Mr. Allen owns a fine modern residence at No. 1300 Corning avenue. In 1896 he was united in marriage with Nellie Lough, daughter of J. A. Lough. Mrs. Allen comes of a Canadian family, who were among the early settlers of Labette county. Her father is deceased, while the remainder of the family reside in Labette county, some in Altamont, and some in Chetopa. One daughter, Ruth, blesses the home of Mr. and Mrs. Allen. Mr. Allen favors the Presbyterian faith, while his wife was reared within the folds of the M. E. church. In political action, Mr. Allen is a supporter of Republican principles. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. Starting out as a poor boy, his life has been a steady advance up to the present time. The manly qualities of self reliance and perseverance have enabled him to accomplish what he has, and he now occupies a recognized position as one of the leading citizens of Parsons.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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