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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Henry S. Allen, one of the leading builders and contractors of Topeka, which city has been his home since 1869, was born at Zanesville, Ohio, March 23, l837, and is a son of George and Marian (Parkman) Allen.

The father of Mr. Allen was born and reared at Bristol, England, where he contracted his first marriage. After coming to America, he married Marian Parkman, who was also born at Bristol and came to America in childhood.

Our subject was reared at Zanesville and was educated in Putnam, across the Muskingum River from Zanesville, now the Ninth Ward of that city. When 16 years old he was apprenticed to the carpenter’s trade, for which he had a natural faculty, and was following the same when the Civil War descended upon the land. He was one of the first to offer his services and was assigned to Company E, Third Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., in which he gallantly served until disabled by a serious wound in the foot at the battle of Prairieville. An honorable discharge followed and he returned home, but, in 1863, when Morgan was raiding Ohio, Mr. Allen again turned out in his country’s defense. He reenlisted, entering Company B, 159th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., recruiting the company and being placed in command. He participated in the battles of Rich Mountain, West Virginia, and Frederick, Maryland, and then the 159th was stationed at Baltimore. Mr. Allen was one of the members of a scouting expedition under command of the late Gen. Lew Wallace, for whom he always entertained great regard. After his return from the field, he was elected lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, Colonel Munson having retired.

In 1858 Mr. Allen had made a visit to Kansas but took up his residence in Missouri and remained there until the fall of 1860, when he left Kansas City and returned to Ohio to become one of the soldiers in his native State. In 1869 he returned to Kansas and in July, 1869, he built a home on the corner of Sixth avenue and Fillmore street, Topeka. Later he removed to his present beautiful home at No. 336 Woodlawn avenue, Potwin. He has been identified with the building development of this beautiful suburb ever since, much of its improvement coming directly under his care and superintendence. He accompanied the engineer in laying out the parks, placing the stakes for trees and beautifying the addition of Potwin. He built the first house on Woodlawn avenue, opposite his own residence, for Mr. Potwin. Four years later another modern residence was built, which was then the beginning of something like a “boom.” Now 450 voters have delightful homes in this most aristocratic suburb of Topeka, and many of these Mr. Allen has constructed, among these being the palatial residences of W. M. Forbes, Mrs. Burlingame and Mr. Kent. His work is to be found in all sections of Topeka, particularly in residence districts. He has been delegated by the First Baptist Church as superintendent of the construction of their new edifice opposite the State House.

Mr. Allen married Katie Nesbaum. They have no children. Both have long been very devoted workers in the religious circles of the city. Mr. Allen has been a member of the First Baptist Church for the past 35 years and is one of its board of trustees. Fraternally, he is a Mason. He is a member of Lincoln Post, No. 1, G. A. R., of Topeka.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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