Stanley N. Allen

Page 173-175 - Stanley N. Allen, a venerable and honored citizen of Grand Rapids, where he was for many years prominently identified with mercantile enterprise, is a representative of a family whose name has been associated with the history of this city for more than seventy years. The Allen family has been one of marked prominence and influence in the civic and material development and progress of Grand Rapids, and record concerning the family must need be, if consistency is to be assured, an integral part of this history of Kent county. Hon. George Washington Allen was born in Enfield, Hartford county,. Connecticut, and his long, earnest and distinguished life came to its close in January, 1898, at his home in Grand Rapids. The Allen family gained Colonial prestige in settlement in New England, three brothers of the name having come from England to this country in the early Colonial era, one having settled in Vermont, one is Massachusetts and one in Connecticut. Ethan Allen, the Revolutionary patriot, was of the Vermont branch of the family, and Hon. George Washington Allen, father of the subject of this review, was a representative of the Connecticut branch, he having, after the death of his father, accompanied his widowed mother on her removal to Painesville, Ohio, where he was reared and educated. George W. Allen continued his residence in the old Buckeye state until 1853, when he came with his family to Michigan and established a home in Grand Rapids. Here he was engaged in the mercantile business until 1864, when, under the administration of President Lincoln, he was appointed United States pension agent for western Michigan, an office that he retained three years. In 1870 he became one of the organizers of the Grand Rapids Savings Bank, and of this institution he continued the vice-president until his retirement from active business. Mr. Allen was known as one of the most loyal, liberal and public-spirited citizens of Grand Rapids, was held in inviolable confidence and esteem and was called upon to serve in various offices of public trust, including those of city alderman, county superintendent of the poor, and representative of the county in the state legislature -- in the period of 1859-63. His first wife, whose maiden name was Jeanette Noble, was born at New Milford, Connecticut, and she died in 1859, about six years after the family removal to Grand Rapids. Of the six children of this union, Stanley N. of this review, was the fourth in order to birth; Arthur K. is likewise a resident of Grand Rapids; George R, who had been for many years a prominent business man of Grand Rapids, died in 1924; Henry G. is a resident of New York City, and Jeanette is the wife of David Keeler, of Grand Rapids; Esther died in 1862, aged 20 years. In 1864 George W Allen contracted a second marriage, when Mrs. Betsey Church became his wife, her first husband, Captain Benjamin B. Church, having been killed in battle at James Island, South Carolina, in 1862, while serving as a gallant soldier and officer in the Civil War, he having enlisted in 1861 as a member of the Eighth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and having been captain of his company in this regiment at the time of his death. The old home of the Allen family in Grand Rapids was at 37 Park street, and the property was finally sold, to become the site of the present public library building of the city, the attractive old homestead having long been one of the landmarks of the city, even as it was a center of gracious and cultured social activity. George W. Allen died in 1898 and his second wife in 1910.

Stanley N Allen, who is now living retired in his beautiful home at 408 Morris avenue, southeast, was for many years engaged in the mercantile business in Grand Rapids, and he has at all stages been valued as a progressive and public-spirited citizen of the fair Michigan city that has represented his home since his boyhood, he having been about six years old at the time of the family removal to Grand Rapids from his native city of Painesville, Ohio, where he was born April 13, 1847. His youthful education was received principally in the pioneer schools of Grand Rapids, and here his initial business experience was gained in his uncle's mercantile establishment. After the death of his mother he went to live with a sister of his father at Madison, Lake County, Ohio, and remained there twenty years, returning to Grand Rapids in 1879, entering business with his brother, George, under the firm name of Allen Bros. In all of the relations of life he has well upheld to prestige of the honored family name. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and he and his wife are communicants of St. Mark's church, Protestant Episcopal. Mr. Allen has been for more than half a century affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, he having been raised to the degree of Master Mason in the lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at Madison, Ohio, and being a Past Master of this lodge. He has served also as High Priest of his chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Grand Rapids, his maximum York Rite affiliation being with DeMolay Commandery of Knights Templar, besides which he is a noble of the Mystic Shrine and Consistory, Scottish Rite. In 1870 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Allen to Miss Ada Rindge, a representative of another of the old and influential families of Grand Rapids, and after representing a devoted companionship of nearly thirty years the gracious marital bonds were severed by the death of Mrs. Allen in 1898, she being survived by two children, Helen, who is the wife of William G. McCune, of Petoskey, Michigan, and Stanley R., who is a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1906 Stanley N. Allen was united in marriage to Elizabeth Rowley, of Grand Rapids, and she is the popular chatelaine of their pleasant home in this city. Helen has two sons, Allen and William S.; Stanley has three children, S. Rushmore, Jeanette N. and Mary Louise.

Transcriber: Terry Start
Created: 6 January 2003