EDWARD P. ALLEN GRAVESTONE PHOTO
Independence Daily Reporter, Monday, November 29, 1915:
Prominent Banker Dies Suddenly Saturday Evening
SICK ONLY FEW DAYS
An Old Resident of County and Prominent in Business Life Over 40 Years
E. P. Allen, one of the oldest residents and most highly respected citizens of this city, who has for more that forty years been identified with the business, official and social life of this community, suddenly passed away at his home, 301 South Fourth street, Saturday evening at 5:00 o’clock.
White it has been apparent the past few months to Mr. Allen’s intimate friends that his health was failing it was not until a week ago when he was suddenly attacked with what was considered acute indigestion at his office in the First National Bank that any symptoms of a sudden breakdown were apparent. Even though at this time his suffering was intense and there was some evidence of something more serious than indigestion, he rallied from the effects of the attack after he was taken to his home, and during the last week he became so much better that on Saturday he told President Litchfield of the bank that he would be found in his accustomed place at the bank Monday morning. He seemed very much better Saturday. A few minutes before he died he stepped out onto the porch. On returning to the room where his wife and his sister, Mrs. Ella M. Reed, were sitting, he sank down in to a chair and his head suddenly dropped forward. Mrs. Allen spoke to him and hastened to his side. He made no answer, the power of speech was gone forever. In the twinkling of an eye the last spark of life has gone out from the body of this active man, after an eventful career, marked by patient test, pronounced achievement and exemplary performance of all the duties of life, as citizen, husband, father, and friend.
Edward Payson Allen was born in Green county, Ky., January 3, 1843, and at the time of his death was 72 years, 10 months and 24 days old. He was the son of William B and Huldah (Wilcox) Allen. The Allens came orginally from the north of Ireland; they emigrated from the old country about 1630, and finally settled in Rockridge county, Va., establishing the American branch of the family. Edward’s great grandfather, John Allen, and his oldest parental 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. David Allen, grandfather of the deceased, settled in Kentucky in 1784. During the war of 1812 he served in the American army against England. Mr. Allen’s father, William B., was a native of Kentucky and by profession a lawyer, and for many years successfully practiced law at Greensburg, Ky., where he pasted his life. He was a Royal Arch Mason and was once a Grand Master of the grand lodge of Kentucky. Huldah Wilcox, Edward’s mother, was a descendant of old Puritan stock. She was born in Kentucky and was the mother of six children who reached maturity.
Mr. Allen obtained a good, practical education in the private schools of Greensburg, Ky., which he attended until 18 years old, 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. The regiment saw its first service in Kentucky and participated in the battles of Mill Springs, Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River and many minor engagements and skirmishes.
Mr. Allen was promoted three months after his enlistment to lieutenant and was discharged as such at Louisville, Ky., at the expiration of three years. Soon after the close of the war he was engaged in the mercantile business at Matoon, Illinois, where he remained until 1867. That year he returned to Greenburg, Ky., where he conducted a store for two years and then returned to Matoon, Illinois, from which place he started overland on his journey to Kansas, as there were few railroads west of the Mississippi, arriving in this county with his wife and oldest child in 1870. On October 16 of that year he took up a claim near Clear creek, in section 31-33-16, where as a farmer he began his career in Kansas. On this claim he built a rude house which still stands. He experienced all the trials and hardships of the early pioneer farmers.
In 1873 he located in Independence and accepted a clerkship in one of the stores and was connected with the mercantile establishments of the city until October 5, 1877, when he was nominated for register of deeds on the Democratic ticket and notwithstanding that his political party was in the minority the following month he was elected by several hundred majority. Mr. Allen’s personal popularity won him this election and a re-election in 1879. His four years service in this office was marked by efficiency and a faithful performance of duty, and he 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 following 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 1905, when he resigned the presidency but remained on the board of directors. For nearly a score of years Mr. Allen served as president of the bank, and largely due to his conservative, comprehensive business methods is the solid foundation on which rests this big banking institution which is today one of the largest and most substantial banks in the state. Mr. Allen was succeeded by R. S. Litchfield as president of the bank but he never lost his keen interest in its welfare and it was a source of considerable satisfaction to hem when he saw the bank’s business expand and grow, year after year, the deposits of less than $100,000 when he assumed personal management growing to more than $2,500,000.
In addition to his banking business in this city Mr. Allen was vice president of the Caney Valley National bank of Caney, Kan., and a director of the Home National bank of Longton, Kan. He also invested largely in good farm land and had other commercial interests of a sound character.
E. P. Allen’s death will be deeply deplored in Masonic circles where his activities have evoked countless testimonials to his splendid character and his devotion to fraternal duty. He was past master of Fortitude Lodge No. 107, A. F. & M., past high priest of Keystone Chapter No. 22, Royal Arch Masons, and had officiated for a quarter of a century as recorder of St. Bernard Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar, of which he was past eminent commander.
Mr. Allen was to have presided tonight at a meeting of matrons and patrons of Eva Chapter No. 18, Order of Eastern Star, of which he was worthy patron.
On May 2, 1865, Mr. Allen was united in marriage with Mary F. Vansant, in Cole county, Illinois, and the happily united couple this year celebrated their golden wedding, surrounded by their family and intimate friends. Mr. Allen is survived by his wife and four daughters; Mrs. James F. Blackledge of Caney, Mrs. R. W. Cates of this city, Mrs. H. H. Kahn of Coffeyville, and Mrs. Glen H. Amsbury of Longton, and two sisters, Mrs. Ella M. Reed of Rock Island, Illinois, and Mrs. C. B. Johnson of Louisville, Kentucky. The former was a guest at his home when the last sad summons came so suddenly. He had ten grandchildren, in whom he took a great interest and a pardonable pride.
Mr. Allen was in the largest sense a self made man. He forged ahead by his own ability and determination and held an enviable position in popular esteem and respect. He was an affable gentleman and an interesting companion. A man of sound judgment and clear thinking his advice was largely sought and his opinion on a business proposition high valued. As a soldier his services to his country were early recognized by promotion; as a pioneer he met the vicissitudes of frontier life with courage and fortitude and contributed his share to laying the foundation for the great social and civic structure that is now the pride of the people of this section; as a public official he was accommodating and served the people in a manner that he retired with their confidence and esteem; as the successful businessman and banker he was the same plain, straightforward man and honest citizen and pleasant gentleman, performing the larger duties that came with wealth and station with that high regard for right and justice and clear comprehension of essentials and details and fidelity to trust that marked his whole career. He achieved success by frugality, economy and wise investment. His intimate friends have heard him relate how he always managed to live with his income and save a little when he was living on a salary of $35 a month. It was no accidental turn in the wheel of fortune that brought him business success but the result of industrious effort, economy and a strict adherence to sound business principles and upright and honorable living. He gave freely of his time and means to promote these things he believed of benefit to society.
His death came as a great shock to his family and the community. For more than forty years he has mingled daily with the people of this community in the business circles, society and the lodge and church, being an active and influential member of the Presbyterian church of this city. He has left an honored name and an example that young men starting out in life can study with profit and emulate with advantage.
The funeral will take place from the family residence at 301 South Fourth street at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. The services will be in charge of ST. Bernard Commandary, Knights Templar. The funeral address will by made by Dr. S. S. Katey of Topeka, former pastor of the Presbyterian church of this city. All friends are invited.
The body will lie in state at the family residence from 10 to 12 o’clock Tuesday and all who desire to do so can call during those hours and view the remains.
The Evening Star, Monday, November 29, 1915, Pg. 1:
THE HAND OF DEATH SUDDENLY FALLS UPON E. P. ALLEN, VETERAN BANKER AND PIONEER CITIZEN
WAS THOUGHT TO BE CONVALESCING—CAME TO MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN 1870 AND SETTLED ON CLAIM—PROMINENT CHURCH MAN, INFLUENTIAL MASON AND ONE OF COUNTY’S ABLEST FINANCIERS.
E. P. Allen, vice president of the First National Bank, and for 45 years an active and influential figure in the affairs of Independence and Montgomery county, died suddenly about 5 o’clock Saturday evening at the family residence, 301 South Fourth street. His death was wholly unexpected and was a shock to the entire city. The happy Saturday night crowds were saddened by the intelligence as it filtered through various channels to the public, for Mr. Allen was a genial, modest, neighborly gentleman who was a friend t6o all, and who, in the 45 years of his identification with Montgomery county affairs, had been the personal adviser and helper of thousands.
Mr. Allen, a week ago Saturday, while at work at his bank, was stricken with an attack of indigestion. He was subject to such attacks and had apparently rallied, so that no particular uneasiness was felt by his family. Saturday afternoon he had been up and about the house and yard. A few minutes before his death he had picked up a newspaper and gone to the porch. After a few minutes outside he came into the house, sat down, gasped a few times and died. Mrs. Ella Reed, his sister, saw that the was desperately ill and summoned Dr. J. T. Davis, but although the doctor was close at hand and promptly responded the veteran baker was beyond earthly aid when he arrived. R. S. Litchfield, president of the First National Bank, and long time associate in business of Mr. Allen, also reached the side of his comrade soon after the alarm was sent out, but too late to see him alive.
Mr. Allen is survived by his wife and four daughters, Mrs. J. F. Blackledge of Caney, Mrs. R. W. Cates of this city, Mrs. H. H. Kahn of Coffeyville, and Mrs. Glen Amabury of Longton, Kas., and a sister, Mrs. Ella Reed of Rock Island, Ill.
The deceased had long been a pillar of the Presbyterian church, an influential figure in politics, one of the strongest financial figures in the county, and a very prominent member of the Masonic order. He was born in Green county, KY., January 3, 1843, the son of Attorney and Mrs. William B. Allen, also natives of Kentucky. Mr. Allen gained an education in the schools of Greenburg, Ky., and when the war between the north and the south came on he listed in 1861 in Company E, Thirteenth Kentucky Infantry, as first sergeant. He rose to the rank of lieutenant and served three years in the army, being in many notable battles. It has given him great pleasure in later years to foregather with the old boys who wore the blue and recount the bitter struggles of that period.
After the close of the war Mr. Allen went to Mattoon, Ill., and engaged in the mercantile business, but soon became infected with the Kansas fever and came to this state Oct. 16, 1870. He located in Montgomery county and settled upon a claim on Clear creek, which he farmed for two years, abandoning farming to take up the mercantile business in Independence, then a frontier trading post. In 1877 he was elected register of deeds on the democratic ticket, for though he had fought for the union he was always a stanch adherent of the principle of the democratic party. He drew a heavy vote outside of party lines, however, and so efficiently did he serve that he was re-elected in 1879. Leaving the office at the end of his second term Mr. Allen took advantage of the extensive acquaintance he had formed to embark in the insurance and loan business, and that brought him into contact with the officers of the First National Bank, whose stockholders made him a director in 1885. The next year they made him president and for seventeen years he piloted that institution through good times and bad, by his strength of character, probity and business sagacity, adding to the strength of the banking house. Feeling the need for a lightening of the burdens bearing upon his shoulders Mr. Allen in 1904 sold a controlling interest in the bank to Royal S. Litchfield of New York, who had been attracted to Independence because of its relation to the oil field and its promise as an industrial and financial center. Mr. Allen, however, continued as a director of the bank and was in harness almost to the day of his death. He had the pleasure of seeing the deposits of the institution rise from the modest trust of a country bank to more than two and a half million dollars.
As heretofore stated Mr. Allen was prominently identified with the Masonic order, and was to have presided as past patron at a special meeting of the Order of the Eastern Star at the Masonic temple this evening. He was past master of Fortitude Lodge No. 107, A. F. & A. M., past high priest of Keystone chapter, No. 22, Royal Arch Masons, and had officiated for a quarter of a century as recorder of St. Bernard commandery, No. 10, Knights Templar.
The deceased has always been in the forefront of every moment calculated to advance the interests of the community, morally or financially, and though always unassuming no man’s counsel was more highly valued. For many years he was an officer of the Presbyterian church; there, too, he was a stanch and true adviser and worker.
In addition to the First National Bank, he was interested in a bank at Caney and had other large financial interests, as well as one of the best farms in the Verdigris bottoms. At heart Mr. Allen was a good deal of a farmer and this Verdigris valley land was a source of pride and pleasure. Though an able and successful business man Mr. Allen was essentially domestic in his tastes and noting gave him greater pleasure than the annual gatherings of his children and grandchildren under the family roof tree.
To those who will know his cheering presence no more in this life the sincere sympathy of the community, county wide, is extended.
The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon from the Allen residence, 301 South Fourth street, under the auspices of the Knights Templar and Grand Army of the Republic, with Rev. S. S. Estey, of Topeka, in charge of the services.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson
a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence
Public Library, Independence, Kansas.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.