|Birth: ||Mar. 14, 1806|
|Death: ||Nov. 13, 1884|
DEATH OF CAPT. D.L. ALLEN--The Oldest Resident of Decatur Pays the Great Debt of Nature
The alarming condition of Capt. David L. Allen, at his home south of the city, near the old county bridge, was noted in the Republican last evening. He died at 7 o'clock last night, in his 79th year of his age, attended by his aged wife, his daughters and a friend. The Captain was afflicted with a senile diarrhea, and so severe and frequent were the attacks that for weeks he had been confined to his bed.
The deceased was the oldest resident of Decatur township, having located in this city as early as 1828, before the county was organized. He was also one of the oldest residents of the county. He was born in Loudon county, Virginia, in 1806, and removed thence to Kentucky and Tennessee, coming to Decatur from the latter state with a drove of sheep in 1828. Two years later, in 1830, he was united in marriage to Julia E. Read, sister of the late Dr. T.H. Read. She survives her husband, though at present she is in a feeble condition. In his lifetime Capt. Allen owned considerable land in this and Piatt counties, and is said to have been worth at least $70,000. At an early day he entered and secured the deed for 80 acres of land in the center of Decatur, extending from the Wabash railway along Water street south to a point below Wood street, and east to a point near the Union depot. Unfortunate investments and other causes placed him in straightened circumstances in his declining years.
He and Dr. Read built the old Maffit mill and dam, both of which have disappeared long since, and at one time Mr. Allen was the owner of the old lime kiln near the Willow Ford.
In his prosperous years Capt. Allen who was an official and active generously to the church, presenting it the old building lot where the Reeser store now stands, at the corner of William and Water streets. He also presented the Decatur school fund a lot on which the J.W. Haworth block was lately erected, and he gave his share of the park to the city. These and other contributions should keep green the memory of the departed in the minds of our people. In all his long life he was a consistent member of the Baptist church, and he loved his church as he did his home. In his dealings with men and in his conversation he was quiet and firm. Socially he was entertaining and companionable. It was always interesting to chat with the Captain and hear him tell of the early days of Decatur, how the town developed, and how the people got along when the houses were miles apart and visitors few and far between. Though nearly 80 years of age, of late years he visited the city almost daily in his road cart and was as eager to learn the news of city, county, state or National importance as an active business man or politician of 30. He was a constant reader of the Republican, and never failed to get his paper regularly.
During the past 15 years he has resided on his picturesque home place south of the Sangamon river, where he employed his time in raising fine strawberries and other fruits, besides managing a famous dairy.
He leaves a widow and two unmarried daughters. His relatives are Samuel C. Allen and Mrs. Dr. Read, of Decatur, and Robert and Lemuel Allen, of Pekin, Ill. The funeral will take place from the Baptist church on Sunday afternoon at two o'clock.
Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois), Friday, November 14, 1884, pg3
Funeral of Capt. Allen
The mortal remains of the late Capt. David L. Allen, who died on the evening of the 13th, in the 79th year of his age, were laid at rest in the grave at Greenwood cemetery on Sunday. The funeral services were held at the Baptist church at 10:30 a.m., and were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Vosburgh, the church choir furnishing appropriate music. The audience room was completely filled by a large representation of the older people of the city and county who came to pay their last respects to the departed, who was known intimately by many and loved by all who enjoyed his acquaintance. The clergyman took for his text the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians: "To Die is Gain," as applied to the converted man, and in the course of his feeling remarks he pointed out what gains, physical, social and otherwise, are to be attained by the final dissolution. In closing, Rev. Vosburgh referred in a general way to the blameless and exemplary life of Capt. Allen, and paid an eloquent tribute to his life and character as a christian man and citizen. All present were given an opportunity to look upon the face of the dead, when the body was removed to the cemetery, followed by a large number of friends. The pall-bearers were Judge Greer, A.T. Hill, J.R. Gorin, R. Liddle, Thomas Hays, J.N. Bills, D.P. Elwood and W.H. Wiswell.
Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois), Monday, November 17, 1884, pg3
There are many reasons why every possible tribute of respect should be shown by the people of Decatur to the
memory of Laura Allen. Her father in his time was a booster. There was no Chamber of Commerce in those
days, no organization to further the Interests of Decatur, but he gave the city the beautiful park in the center of
the business district that will always remain a beauty spot as long as Decatur Is on the map. He was the only
man who ever gave a lot for public school purposes, and this lot was also in the central part of the city and today
Is occupied by the new building of the Citizens National bank, corner of Water and North Park street. If he were living today he would be in the front rank of those who are doing things for Decatur. He gave to the colored Baptists of Decatur the lot on Spring avenue.
Columns could be written about the character of Captain Allen. Column after column has been written about him and the story is fresh in the minds of all who read.
Decatur, IL Review Feb 6, 1910 p2 (excerpt from Laura Allen's obituary)
James Allen (1769 - 1845)
Elizabeth Lee Allen (1775 - 1820)
Julia E. Reed Allen (1804 - 1887)
Laura Read Allen (1841 - 1910)*
Isabella Elizabeth Allen Elgin (1796 - 1878)*
David L. Allen (1806 - 1884)
Samuel Cox Allen (1810 - 1899)*
Elizabeth Allen Read (1812 - 1897)*
Lemuel Allen (1818 - 1905)*
John F. Allen (1823 - 1884)**
Born in Loudon Co., Va.
Created by: kpet
Record added: Jan 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46903942