1877 History of La Salle County Illinois
Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Allen
The town of Allen is composed of the Congressional Township 31 North, of R. 5
East, and is the southeastern town in the county. It is entirely prairie, having
no natural growth of timber within its limits or near its border. The soil is
good, and the surface mostly rolling. From its location at a distance from
timber and at the extreme limit of the county, it remained unoccupied until
twenty years after the organization of the county, and twenty-five years after
settlements commenced within the county limits.
The first permanent resident in the town was Robert Miller, from New England— a Quaker. He settled on Section 12, in the fall of 1850; after a few years residence he removed to Iowa.
The next was Michael Kepner from Perry County, Pa., in the spring of 1851; he made a claim on S. 16, where he remained five or six years, and removed to Minnesota.
James McIntyre made a claim on S. 16, in 1851, but resided in Peru one year, then occupied his claim two years, and in 1853 moved on S. 14, where he now resides.
Two brothers, John and Inglehart Wormley came from Pennsylvania in 1852, and settled on Sees. 21 and 22, where John still resides. Inglehart was the first Supervisor of the town. In 1862 or 63, he removed to Southern Illinois.
Adam Fry, from Ohio, came to Du Page County in 1835, and in the fall of 1852 settled on Section 6, where he died in Sept., 1874; his widow still occupies the same place.
Elias C. Lane, from Ohio to Putnam County in 1846, then to Hickory Point in 1853, and to Sec. 8 in 1855, where he still resides, at the age of about 90 years, with his son, W. H. Lane.
William Flint bought land on Section 9 in 1851, and occupied it in 1853; he spent ten years in improving and developing the town, and then removed to Tonica.
M. C. Lane, son of Elias C, from Brown County, Ohio, entered land on Section 9 in 1851, and occupied it in 1856.
John Cochran, from Adams County, Ohio, entered land on Section 3 in 1851, and has occupied it since 1856.
John Higgins, a native of Prince Edward’s Island, and from Putnam County here; made an improvement on Section 8 in 1855, and has occupied it with his family since 1856.
John L. Summers, from Adams County, Ohio, bought land on Section 10 in 1854, moved on and improved it in 1855; returned to Ohio in December, 1856, and came back to his first love in Jan., 1876.
David Griffith came from Washington County, Pa., in 1857, and settled on Section 25 — then three to four miles from neighbors; he died Aug. 14, 1877.
Mrs. Sarah Hamilton, from Ohio to Putnam County in 1846, and here in 1856.
Allen Stevens, from Canada to Du Page County, and thence here in 1857; is now living on the southeast quarter of Section 5.
Since 1857 the town of Allen has rapidly filled up with an enterprising population, so that there is no vacant land in the town, and the improvements of most of her citizens are not behind those of her sister towns. The dwellings, barns, and other improvements of Nathaniel and James McIntyre, M. C. Lane, Thomas Sullivan, Henry Smith, and some others, are scarcely excelled in the older States.
The extension of the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Railroad was built through the town of Allen in 1875, giving a direct communication with Chicago. The station was located near the center of Section 16, which, fortunately for the town, had not been sold previous to the location of the road. The town of Ransom was laid out by the School Trustees, and lots sold to the amount of $5,000 at the first sale. If judiciously managed, the town will realize a very efficient fund for the support of her schools through ' all the future.
Thus this town, in the center of a prairie region, far from timber, distant from market, and long neglected, is destined to be a successful rival of the older settled portions of the county.