History of Allen, Kansas
From: History of Emporia and Lyon County Kansas
By: Laura M. French
Emporia Gazette Print
Emporia, Kansas 1929


Allen, sixteen miles north of Emporia, is proud of the fact that it is the direct descendant of Lyon County's first post office, also called Allen, whose first postmaster was Charles Withington, the county's first settler. This post office was at the crossing of 142 Creek on the Santa Fe Trail three and one half miles northeast of the present town, and was established in 1854.

When the Missouri Pacific Railway Company built its road across Northern Lyon County in 1886, it planned for but two stations in this county - Admire and Bushong. But the people of the Allen neighborhood, many of whom were stockmen whose shipments were large, protested, and demanded a station at this point. They took their troubles to the State Railroad Commission, and got their station. Much of the work of securing this station was done by the late Judge G. W. DeCamp, of Emporia and Allen, who had large holdings in that locality. The post office was moved from its original site, and E. R. Marcy, still of Allen, who had been postmaster and who opened the first store in the new town, looked after the mail until the appointment of John Grimsiey, the first postmaster.

The Town Company consisted of John Grimsley, president; George Withington, clerk; R. A. Reaburn, D. W. Leavell, W. E. Rust, E. R. Marcy and Emil Shellack. The first purchase of land for the town was a quarter section, and later another quarter section to the west was added. Most of the lots platted have been sold and are occupied. A strip of land running east and west, south of the tracks, one hundred feet wide and five blocks long, was given the Missouri Pacific as a site for its station buildings, siding and stockyards. Allen is the most important shipping point in Northern Lyon County, and the station was a real need of this grazing and stockraising section. When the Town Company disbanded, about 1895, E. R. Marcy being its last president, the cemetery, which had been owned by the Town Company, was turned over to the city.

Allen was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1909. James S. Barr was its first mayor, and A. H. Smith, of the Smith Lumber Company, Emporia, was the first city clerk. The first newspaper was the Allen Tidings, established by Major Paul, which he moved to Emporia, where it became the Times. The Northern Lyon County Journal, D. S. Gilmore, editor and proprietor, is the largest and most important weekly newspaper in Lyon County outside of Emporia. It serves the entire north end of the county - Allen, Admire, Bushong and Miller. Allen has a population of about 280, good schools and a flourishing Methodist Church, a live and progressive citizenry. Harry Grimily is mayor of the town, and Bern Davis city clerk.

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