Henry Allen is a well known citizen of Thawville and of Ford county, having throughout a long period been engaged in general agricultural pursuits in Brenton township, but for the past twelve years he has lived retired in Thawville, where he owns a comfortable home. Mr. Allen is a native of England, his birth having occurred at Cold Ash Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, November 6, 1836. His parents were John and Hannah (Willis) Allen, whose family numbered nine children, of which our subject is the third in order of birth. The father died in England when our subject was a lad of thirteen years, while the mother survived for a long period, passing away in Utah, when she had reached the advanced age of eighty years.
Henry Allen acquired his education in the schools of his native land, his advantages in this direction, however, being somewhat limited, for he abandoned his studies at the early age of twelve years. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to the blacksmith's trade, to which his father devoted his time and energies. The son, however, never completed his trade. In 1857 he emigrated to the United States in company with his brother John, who now resides in California. Mr. Allen at once made his way to Morris, Grundy county, Illinois, where he was employed at farm labor during the three succeeding years. In 1860 he made a trip to California from New York, across the Isthmus of Panama to San Francisco, working in the mines there for two years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Grundy county by the overland route, and was employed there for a time, but in 1870 he came to Ford county and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, lying on section 35, Brenton township, paying for the land twenty dollars per acre. This land was but partially broken and Mr. Allen at once set to work to develop and improve the property until he had it in a good state of cultivation. He likewise erected a good house and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, and made his home thereon for many years, each year adding to his income through the sale of his excellent crops. About twelve years ago he retired from farm labor and removed to Thawville, where he has since made his home. In addition to the house and lot which he here owns he likewise owns a house in Zion City, Illinois.
Mr. Allen was married to Mrs. Elizabeth (Snelling) Blakely, a widow. She was born in Ohio and by her former marriage had one daughter, Emma, who died and was buried at Thawville. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have one son, Charles C., who resides on his father's farm one mile west of Thawville. They lost their only daughter, Lottie, who was drowned at the age of seven years.
In recent years Mr. Allen has been a follower of the teachings of Alexander Dowie, founder of the Zion movement. Hearing what appealed to him as remarkable cases of healing he began investigating the subject, was healed of rheumatism and catarrhal troubles and has since been a stalwart advocate of the founder of the Zion church and its teachings. He gives his political support to the republican party but has never held public office. He and his estimable wife are now enjoying in retirement the accumulations of profitable, successful and honorable careers, and they are surrounded by many warm friends.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 861-862.

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