Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Biography of  Joseph H. Allen

Joseph H. Allen owns and operates a well improved farm of two hundred and twenty-four acres located on section 5, Maple Valley township, and is one of the successful agriculturists of this part of Buena Vista county.  Mr. Allen is a native of the state, born in Dubuque county, March 4, 1859, a son of Joseph Allen, who was of English birth.  He was reared and married in that country to Miss Maria Bagg, likewise a native of England.  Emigrating to the new world, Mr. Allen became one of the pioneer settlers of Iowa and spent his last years in Dubuque county.


Joseph H. Allen, whose name introduces this review, was reared by an uncle from the age of ten years.  He remained in his native state until he had attained years of maturity, when he went to Nebraska, spending two years in the west.  Returning to Iowa, he was then employed at farm labor for a few years, during which time he carefully saved his earnings in the hope that he might some day [sic] become the owner of a farm.  When such conditions were brought about, he invested in eighty acres of partially improved land, to which he added more improvements and began carrying on farming on his own account.  As he prospered in his undertakings and acquired the necessary funds, he added to his original landed possessions from time to time until his farm now embraces two hundred and twenty-four acres situated on section 5, Maple Valley township.  He has set out an orchard, built a nice country residence, a good barn, sheds, granaries and cribs, and now has one of the best improved farms of Maple Valley township.  He raises the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and also raises stock on quite an extensive scale, annually shipping several carloads of fat stock to the market, where he commands excellent prices.  He is also one of the organizers and one of the heaviest stockholders in the creamery and the Farmers Elevator at Alta, and is one of the public-spirited citizens of this community, interested in anything that tends toward the betterment of the locality in which he lives.


Mr. Allen was married in Maple Valley township, on the 17th of October, 1888, to Miss Effie Wagstaff, a native of St. Lawrence county, New York.  She was reared and educated there and engaged in teaching in the east and also for one year after removing to Buena Vista county.  Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon the farm on which they now make their home.  Their union was blessed with three children but all are now deceased:  Gladys Gale died in February, 1908, when sixteen years of age. Claud [sic] Kingston died in March, l904, at the age of nine years; and Leland L., lived to the age of three, when he departed this life in 1904.  Edna James became a member of their household when a little maiden of five years and she is now a student in the Alta schools.


Politically Mr. Allen is a republican but has never sought nor desired office.  He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is an official and an active worker, while Mrs. Allen also gives liberally of her time in all church relations.  Mr. Allen is a man of good business capacity, of strict integrity and moral worth and he and his estimable wife are highly esteemed by all with whom they come in contact.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy