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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Samuel I. Allen

The history of California is replete with instances of men who have come to the state poor in pocket, in fact many of them penniless, but rich in courage, hopefulness and a determination to win success. The life of Samuel I. Allen, at one time sheriff of Sonoma county, is an illuminating example of what may result from such untoward conditions, and the account of his rise from penury to prosperity will be read with interest.

A native Ohio, Mr. Allen was born in Brown county October 18, 1846, and he grew to young manhood in the locality of his birth. It is quite evident that he had not found congenial or remunerative employment in his home locality, if the state of his finances may be take as a criterion. He was in his thirtieth year when, in 1875, he came to California, landing at Ukiah, Mendocino county, where he took an inventory of his financial condition, and found that he had just thirty-five cents in his pocket. Undismayed by the realization of the true condition of his affairs he accepted the first honorable employment that presented itself, and altogether remained in the vicinity of Ukiah variously employed for the following two years. Coming to Sonoma county at the end of this time he located in Santa Rosa and established a butcher business that he maintained for fifteen years, from 1877 until 1892. While a resident of Santa Rosa he was honored by election to the state legislature as a candidate on the Republican ticket, a circumstance that was unique from the fact that never before had a candidate on that ticket been successful in winning the candidacy to this office. It speaks eloquently of the regard in which he was held by his fellow-citizens, and this regard was strengthened during his term of faithful service, from 1884 to 1886. Other honors of a public character came to him in 1893, when he was elected county sheriff and tax collector on the same ticket. After the expiration of his firs term he was elected his own successor, this election recording the largest number of votes ever cast for any candidate to the office of sheriff.

It was while he was still a resident of Santa Rosa that Mr. Allen purchased the ranch near Sebastopol of which he is now the owner, and in which his energies have been centered ever since disposing of his interests in Santa Rosa. When he purchased the property in 1884, the whole of it, forty acres, was covered with timber, but his he succeeded in clearing and finally, he set out fruit trees of choice varietyies, prunes, apples, and cherries principally, his orchard numbering twenty-three hundred prune trees, thirteen hundred apple trees and three hundered cherry trees. One hundred dollars an acre is the average yearly return from the ranch, which is in charge of a competent foreman, Mr. Allen and his family making their home in Sebastopol, where they have a fine residence.

Before her marriage, in 1881, Mrs. Allen was Miss Olive Teague, a native of Iowa. With her husband she shares in the esteem of friends and neighbors, and both are prominent in the best social circles of the town in wich they live. Fraternally Mr. Allen is a well-known Mason, belong to the lodge and commandery at Santa Rosa, and he also belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge of the same place.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011