Biography of George Henry Allyn

A resident of Holyoke, Hampden County, for more than half a century and prominently connected with his town’s great growth and development during that period, as one of its leading and most expert realtors, Mr. Allyn was a descendant of an old and historic Connecticut family of English extraction. The first member of the family to settle on Massachusetts, was his great-grandfather, David Allyn, born October 23, 1759, at Allyn’s Point, Connecticut, who came to Hampden County as a young man and settled on 1795 in Montgomery, which town, however, at that time was still part of Hampshire County. There he bought a large tract of timber lands near the reservoir, but after some years sold out and moved to the southern part of the town, where he continued to live to the time of his death, March 17, 1841. He married Desire Tyler, born at Preston, Connecticut, May 11, 1772, deed Montgomery, Massachusetts, May 8, 1845. They were the parents of thirteen children, mostly born in Montgomery. One of the older sons, born while his parents were still residents of Connecticut, was David Allyn, born July 29, 1791, who had come to Montgomery with his parents as a small child and grew up there. He engaged in farming and lived for some time in Blandford, Hampden County, but returned later to Montgomery, where he died January 4, 1860. He married December 12, 1813, Joanna Barrett, born in Montgomery, December 19, 1791, daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Bozworth) Barrett, died in Holyoke, Hampden County, June 29, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. David Allyn were the parents of twelve children: s. Eunice Caroline, born July 1, 1815, died November 28, 1870. 2. Lewis Tyler, born July 31, 1817, died January 17, 1893. 3. Anderson, born August 2, 1819, died November 10, 1892. 4. Samuel Barrett, born May 31, 1821, died March 27, 1900. 5. Anna Delia, born June z6, 1823, died in 1898. 6. Mary Dow, born July 25, 1825, died December 10, 1905. 7. James Fowler, born August 18, 1827. died June 12, 1896. 8. Jane Elizabeth, born June 6, 1829, died August 15, 1848. 9. Harvey Wilbur, born September 13, 1831, died July 22, 1862. 10. Joseph Franklin, born September 29. 1833. i1. Henry Dwight, of whom further. 12. Edward Augustus, born October 27, 1837, died July 4, 1894.

The eleventh of these, Henry Dwight Allyn, born in Montgomery, Hampden County, October 13 1835, grew to manhood in his native town, and later moved to Becket, Berkshire County, where he lived for some years. He came to Holyoke in 1866 and engaged there in the butcher business in which line he continued until 1888. In that year, together with his son, George Henry Allyn, he formed the firm of H. D. Allyn & Son for the conduct of a real estate business which he directed until his death in Holyoke, November 14, 1895. He was a member of the Congregational church, and married Isabella C. Parks, of Russell, Hampden County, who also died in Holyoke and, like her husband, was buried in Forestdale Cemetery.

George Henry Allyn, son of the above, was born in Becket, Berkshire County, February 25, 1862, but came to Holyoke with his parents as a child of four years. He was educated in the public and high schools of Holyoke, graduating from the latter in 1878, at which time he became associated with his father in the meat market conducted by the latter on Dwight Street. In 1888 father and son entered the real estate business, forming the firm of H. D. Allyn & Son with offices in the Marble Hall Hotel Building. After his father’s death in 1895 he conducted the business alone for some years, but later took his oldest son, George Henry Allyn, Jr., into partnership. Still later, as they grew into manhood, two other sons also became associated with the business, now known as the Allyn Real Estate Agency, and these two younger sons have carried on the business, founded by their grandfather and father, since the death of the latter and of their oldest brother. The offices have always remained in their original location in the Marble Hall Building, and the business has been uniformly successful under the management of three successive generations of the same family.

Mr. Allyn was one of the best known real estate men in his vicinity and transacted a very large business in Holyoke, where he established for himself and his firm an enviable reputation for reliability, integrity and efficiency. In spite of his extensive business responsibilities he always took a deep and sincere interest in the progress and growth of Holyoke and its institutions and in the welfare of its people. He was of a very cheerful and kind disposition and always willing to hold out a helping hand to those who had met with adversity. His knowledge of the early history of Holyoke was extensive and authoritative and he contributed a valuable and interesting article on Holyoke and its leading men to the thirtieth anniversary issue, covering the period from 1882 to 1912, published in 1912 by the Holyoke “Daily Transcript.” He was a member of the Congregational Church and took an active and effective part in all of its activities.

Mr. Allyn married, in Holyoke, in 1884, Rachael S. Oliver, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and daughter of John Ramsey and Margaret (Coyles) Oliver, both her parents being natives of Scotland and later residents of Wilmington, Delaware, where they died. Mr. and Mrs. Allyn were the parents of thirteen children: 1. George Henry, Jr., associated with his father until his death. 2. Isabelle Carolyn, died in young womanhood. 3. Bertha Loretta, secretary at North Adams Normal School. 4. Evelyn E., engaged in secretarial work with the Russell Paper Mill, Holyoke. 5. Mildred, died in infancy. 6. Stewart Ramsey, who is connected with the Allyn Real Estate Agency and saw service during the World War. 7. Oliver Edward, manager of the Allyn Real Estate Agency. 8. Henry Dwight, who died after having reached manhood. 9. Agnes Rachael, who resides at home. 10. Eunice Pearl, a school teacher at Athol, Worcester County. i1. Milicent J., teaching school at Glastonbury, Connecticut. 12. Lillian Lucy, a student at the State Normal School, Fitchburg, Worcester County. 13. Edward John, who died in childhood. The family home is at No. 3 River Terrace, Holyoke, where Mrs. Allyn and those of her children still at home have continued to reside since Mr. Allyn’s death.

Mr. Allyn died at his home in Holyoke, March 23, 1917, and was buried in Forestdale Cemetery. Through his death his wife and children lost a loving and devoted father and husband, his many friends a genial, kind and faithful associate, and his community one of its most useful, progressive and substantial citizens. At the time of his death one of his intimate friends, P. J. Garvey, a leading lawyer of Holyoke, said of him: “George Allyn possessed such a wonderful mind and beautiful soul that any words of mine in tribute to his memory seem woefully inadequate. He was my close friend for more than twenty years and, although possessed of a brilliant mind, a most retentive memory, and unerring judgment and analysis, yet far and above all these that which appealed most to me was his sterling honesty and childlike modesty. His was a character which must leave its impress forever.”


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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