Sedgwick County KSGenWeb
Portrait And Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan.
Chapman Brothers 1888
JOSEPH P. ALLEN, Mayor of Wichita, is also conducting the oldest drug house in the city, which he established in 1870. He was first located on Main street, but later removed to more commodious and elegant quarters at No. 108 East Douglas avenue, where he has since continued. He has had a thorough experience as a pharmacist, and the position which he holds is a tacit acknowledgement of his reliability as a business man and as a member of the community.
Mayor Allen was born in Elkhart County, Ind., Oct. 9, 1838, and is the son of William M. and Saphronia (Meeker) Allen, natives of New York State, and the father a farmer by occupation. They migrated to Indiana during the early settlement of Lagrange County, where the father opened up a good farm, upon which they lived until 1852. Then, crossing the Mississippi, they took up their residence in Jasper County, Iowa, where William M. Allen carried on farming as before, and from which he removed in 1885 to Nebraska, where he is now living. The mother died in Jasper County, Iowa, March 26, 1854.
Our subject was the fourth child of his parents, whose family included seven sons and four daughters. He became familiar with agricultural pursuits, acquired a common-school education, and continued under the parental roof until sixteen years of age. He then started out for himself, and for the following seven years was employed at various pursuits in Louisa County, Iowa. Upon the outbreak of the Rebellion he enlisted, on the 20th of September, 1861, in Company K, 8th Iowa Infantry, and for three years following was mostly on detached duty around Ft. Leavenworth and Washington, D. C. His life as a soldier was similar to thousands of others of the boys in blue, and at the close of his term of enlistment he was mustered out at Washington, D. C. on Sept. 20, 1864. Young Allen upon his retirement from the army made his way to Leavenworth, this State, where he engaged as clerk in a drug-store three years, then embarked in business for himself at Ellsworth. Some eighteen months later he sold out, and returning to Leavenworth lived there another year, and thence, in 1870, came into Wichita and established the business which he has since conducted with admirable success. He enjoys a large patronage from the best people of the city and suburbs, and has been no unimportant factor among the business interests of this remarkable town.
Mr. Allen was a member of the City Council five years, and the last two years officiated as President. From this latter position he resigned in the spring of 1887, at the time of his election as Mayor. He is the owner of considerable real estate in the city, and has a handsome and substantial residence at the intersection of Lawrence avenue and Third street. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and is a stanch supporter of Republican principles. Socially he is a worthy member of the Masonic fraternity, and has advanced to the 32d degree.
Mr. Allen, while a resident of Leavenworth, was united in marriage with Miss Mary E., daughter of John W. and Amanda (Burk) Tatman, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Leavenworth, May 12, 1869. Mrs. Allen was born April 14, 1846, in Putnam County, Ind. Her parents were natives respectively of Kentucky and Indiana, and came to the West prior to the war. Of her union with our subject there are two children living: Roy E., born March 28, 1877, and Bessie L., Jan. 6, 1881. One deceased was Frank H., who was the first child born in Wichita, and Hon. William Greiffenstein, the original proprietor of the town, presented the child with a lot, which is now one of the lots occupied by the residence of Mr. Allen. His birth took place July 3, 1870, and his death Aug. 29, 1870. Joseph M. was born March 15, 1873, and died Oct. 30, 1874. The manner in which the various public interests of the city of Wichita are being managed and adjusted gives ample evidence of the efficiency and good judgment of its present head.