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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 358~



Z. G. Allen



Z. G. Allen is a progressive and public-spirited man who now devotes his attention to farming on section 21, Fairfield Township, where he has a beautiful home pleasantly located. A native of Oneida County, N. Y., he was born in March, 1822, and the family from which he is descended was connected with that to which Ethan Allen belonged. His father Samuel Allen, was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., but when a young man went to Oneida County, where he became acquainted with and wedded Elvira Blair whose entire life was spent in that county. His death occurred April 7, 1857, at the age of fifty-six years and she died October 29, 1871, at the age of sixty-six years. Mr. Allen was long a member of the Baptist Church and took an active part in its work and everything connected with its upbuilding. In politics he was a stanch Whig. In the family of this worthy couple were five children: Sarah, born January 1, 1825, died in Wisconsin, in 1855; Emily P., November 3, 1828, died in Hardington Neb.; Dwight B., born March 1, 1824, is living in Manchester City, Iowa; and Sophronia E., born September 10, 1839, is a resident of Three Rivers, Mich.


In the usual manner of farmer lads our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and in the district schools of the neighborhood acquired his education. He remained at home until married and then bought part of his father's land. A wedding ceremony performed on September 24, 1846, united the destinies of Mr. Allen and Miss Emily Osborne, a native of Fairfax, Vt., who at the age of nine years was taken by her parents to New York, where her girlhood days were passed. By their union have been born seven children: Theodore A., born in New York, July 21, 1847, is one of the most skillful engineers in the country and holds the responsible position of chief engineer on the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad; Seth, born November 24, 1848, in New York, is living in Day County, Dak.; Mary E., born February 2, 1853, became the wife of Charles H. Fitch of Anoka, Minn.; Elvin D., born January 1, 1860, in Fairfield Township, married Maggie Rolfe, a native of Wisconsin, and is living in this county; Oscar Jed, born November 11, 1861, died March 27, 1874; Elsie, born March 13, 1871, is teaching school in Anoka, Minn. The children were all provided with good educational advantages and pursued the studies of the higher schools.


The year 1856 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Allen and his family in Fayette County. One winter they spent in a log house owned by Mr. Walrath, after which the husband and father purchased a small piece of land and in company with Isaac Walrath built a steam mill which he operated for twelve years, since which time he has given his attention principally to farming. He is now the owner of one hundred acres of good land, including thirty acres of sugar maples, from which he makes and exports pure maple syrup. Ever since his arrival here he has been recognized as one of the leading and enterprising men of the county. He was one of the moving spirits and, in fact, the projector of the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad. He was one of the original incorporators and a stockholder to the extent of $10,000. Through his influence the road was located in Brush Creek and he took a contract for building five miles. He spent three years in work in behalf of the company besides the $10,000, all of which was lost in the failure of the company, the loss falling very heavily upon Mr. Allen because certain parties who had promised to stand by him failed to keep their word when adversity overtook him. He is a vigorous man, of sound judgment, good business ability and unquestioned integrity.


Mr. Allen and his wife are members of the Methodist Church of Brush Creek and take an active interest in the church work, earnestly laboring in the Master's vineyard. He cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay and remained a Whig until the dissolution of that party, since which time he has been an inflexible adherent of the Republican party. He feels a deep interest in its success and keeps well informed on all public issues but has never sought office. What Mr. Allen has done for the upbuilding and progress of Fayette County cannot be estimated, for he has labored untiringly, yet quietly, not being a man to do a good action and then boast of it. He is respected by all who know him, honored by many and loved by his friends




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