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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory
Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon,
Robert L. Allen
Robert L. Allen was born January 20, 1870, in Moores Prairie Township near Sugar Camp Church in Jefferson County, Illinois. He was married to Elizabeth Learned, and to this union were born the following children: Grace, born September 2, 1892, who married William F. Robertson; Nina Gladys, born October 7, 1894, who married Nince Lancaster; an infant daughter, born dead on February 11, 1896; Ruth, born August 28, 1898, who married James Campbell; Robert Don, born March 2, 1900, who married Marcina Sikorski; Frank L., born January 20, 1903, who married Daisy Bammer; Bessie, born July 30, 1905, who married Arthur Burke, and who died on March 6, 1952; Gertrude, born May 12, 1908, who married Raymond Pace; Charles B., born August 17, 1910, who married Gladys Moore; Dorothy, born August 28, 1912, who married George Englemann.
In early life Mr. Allen taught school in rural Jefferson County, Illinois, and did farm work. He has served in public office as a school director and as Clerk of Moores Prairie Township. He has served as Elder and formerly as Deacon with the Christian Church of Belle Rive. Mrs. Allen has been a member of the Christian Church since 1889. He has also served with the Modern Woodmen of America and has been a Mason for over half a century.
Mr. Allen circulated petitions to have a mail route established and this was approved by the postal authorities in the nation's capital. He then passed the postal examination and was assigned the position of rural carrier operating out of Belle Rive. He held this position form 1904 until his retirement in 1934. This route went through the vicinity where he was born and reared. He served under four postmasters.
Mr. and Mrs. Allen are living at present at the place where they were married. They were married at the home of Mrs. Allen's father by Reverend Edward Price, who was minister of the local Christian Church at the time of their marriage.
Mr. Allen at one time during his career of rural carrier owned a dog named "Jim" who would follow him in his horse drawn vehicle around the mail route, a distance to twenty-five miles. One Sunday Jim jade the route alone. The patrons were astonished at Jim, all along, traveling the route, but, of course, he could not read the calendar.
Once one of Allen's patrons on the route wanted to send a baby to a relative of theirs that lived further out on his route. The lady asked what would be the cost of postage to send the youngster. Mr. Allen informed her that here would be no charge, and took the baby along to the relative.
Mr. Allen has voted in seventeen presidential elections.
January 20th is an important date with the Robert Allen family---it is Mrs. Allen's birthday, the birthday of his son Frank, and the birthday of one of his great grandchildren. It is also the date that the President of the United States is sworn into office.
Mr. Allen has in his possession a sword that was carried by his father, Captain George W. Allen of the Forty-Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil War. The scabbard of the sword shows some dents that were caused by some lead balls. It is reported that he would have been wounded in the leg if the lead balls had not hit the scabbard of the sword. George Allen came from Allen County, Kentucky, and was born in 1838. In 1866, he was married to Belle Kniffen, who was born in 1840.
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