Biography of Samuel Allen

SAMUEL ALLEN. – This noble, whole-souled gentleman among the pioneers, who must now be reckoned with the dead was born in East Tennessee July 21, 1805. He was a son of William Allen, a soldier of the war of 1812. Soon after that conflict, Samuel was left fatherless by the death of this parent, and, with his mother and eight brothers and one sister, endured all the hardships and developed all the sturdy force of character, and still more learned the uprightness and integrity of the mountaineers of Tennessee, being nurtured – as were all the children of this family – by his mother in the love of God. When but a lad he moved with his mother and her family to Cooper county, Missouri.

At the age of twenty-one he was married to Sarah, a daughter of Daniel Benson, a native of Tennessee and pioneer of Illinois. A few years after this event, so important in the life of the young man, he moved to Jackson county, Missouri, making there not only a home for himself and family, but for his mother. In 1836, he removed to Platt county, Missouri, but in 1847, having from some occult reason, which might have been hard for him to deliver, determined to cross the plains to Oregon, he made provision for his beloved mother with a younger brother, and bade her a last farewell, and with his young wife and little children accomplished the great journey. He joined his team and wagon to the large train of Captain William Vaughn, a ranger of the plains. The usual division being necessary, and the various companies and even single teams disengaging themselves from the main caravan, he also learned to travel according to the strength of his animals and the location of wood, water, etc., and brought the long toil to a successful issue. He was constantly ready to help others in their troubles, and in the sickness and accidents of the way performed the part of the good Samaritan. He thereby acquainted himself with and greatly endeared himself to the other immigrants of that year.

During his subsequent life in our state he brought to bear the same generous and manly qualities. He made his first home on the Abiqua, together with his wife and children, developing one of the fine old places. He was in the Indian fight that took place near his home. He was perhaps as extensively known as any man in the State of Oregon. He was accustomed to hardships and privation, and knew the art of extracting all the sweets from the sour and bitter, and loved, moreover, the freedom, beauty and purity of a virgin state. He was also a most industrious worker, a good business man and a friend of progress; and it was a satisfaction to him when the difficulties of distance and isolation were overcome and modern improvements were made as available here as elsewhere. A man of vigorous intellect, he might have stood high in almost any branch of professional life could he have had the advantages of an early education.

He was a friend of churches and of schools, being a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. His religious character was positive; and no man who knew him doubted his sincerity. It was one of the great pleasures of his life to accommodate and entertain in the hearty style of the old days his friends, and even strangers, who came from all points to the camp-meeting held near his home. In 1870 he removed to Salem to spend the evening of his life, and died there May 12, 1876, at a ripe old age. In a public capacity he was also active and efficient, serving in many positions of trust, and being a member of the committee to construct a state-house. His counsel on any subject was always safe. Although a Democrat in early life, he went with the Republicans in 1861, and remained with them until his death. The children, Elizabeth, Thomas b., Evaline, Julia A., Angeline, William H., Mary L. and Linnie A. are among our most respected citizens. two are deceased, Julia A. and William H.

Mrs. Sarah Allen, of much the same character and principles as her late husband, is one of those capable, brave and loving mothers of Oregon whom we all respect. She has made her home in Salem ever since his death, and in 1877 was united in marriage, secondly, to Mr. S.A. Trimble of Marion county.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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