G. FRANK ALLEN
So typically American has been the career of one of Gainesville's prominent citizens, G. FRANK ALLEN, vice president and general manager of the Tampa-Jacksonville Railroad, and an important factor in many other large enterprises, that the story is well worth the telling, being both interesting and inspiring.
Mr. ALLEN was born at Savannah, Georgia, April 17, 1891. His parents were GEORGE F. and MARY LILLIAN (ENGLISH) ALLEN, the latter of whom died in his early boyhood. His father was born at Savannah in 1864, for over a quarter of a century was a printer and valued employee on the Savannah Morning News, and died in that city in 1916.
G. FRANK ALLEN was reared by his grandmother. His educational advantages in boyhood were rather limited as far as schooling went, but an industrious habit, quick intelligence and independent spirit early advanced his fortunes and his thirteenth birthday found him employed as a messenger by the Atlanta Coast Line Railroad Company. He became telephone operator, attended a night school, and after that was made a clerk in the yardmaster's office. His industry and efficiency came to the attention of A. D. MENDES, then general superintendent of the Georgia Coast & Piedmont Railroad, who secured the young man as clerk and stenographer in his office at Darien, Georgia.
Later Mr. ALLEN accepted a clerkship in the wholesale hardware house of J. D. Weed & Company at Savannah, but soon returned to his former railroad position. He then spent two years, 1910 and 1911, at St. Mary's College, Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, where he took a complete course on business administration, finance and bookkeeping, and graduated from that school on June 15, 1911, as master accountant. In the meanwhile A. P. (sic) MENDES had become vice president of the Tampa & Jacksonville Railroad Company, and on July 22, 1911, Mr. ALLEN accompanied him to Gainesville. The confidence inspired was represented by his appointment at that time as assistant treasurer and auditor of the road, which was furtheremphasized in July, 1918, when he was made vice president and general manager.
Mr. ALLEN enjoys the distinction of being the youngest man in railroad history in the United Sates to hold such positions. He is further identified with enterprises of large importance, being a stockholder and director of his railroad company, a stockholder in the Florida Bank and Trust Company of Gainesville, owns a farm near this city, and since 1919 has been sales manager for the Gainesville Farmers' Union. This co-operative association grows cucumbers, beans, lettuce and cabbages on an extensive scale, and Mr. ALLEN has sold many thousands of dollars worth of produce for them.
Mr. ALLEN married at Gainesville, on November 6, 1915, Miss BUELAH TOUSEY, who was born at Bronson, Levy County, Florida. Her father, CLAY TOUSEY, is engaged in the grocery business at Gainesville. Mr. And Mrs. ALLEN have two little daughters, SARAH LILLIAN and BUELAH JOSEPHINE. Mr. ALLEN belongs to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, while Mrs. ALLEN belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In addition to being one of the progressive business men of Gainesville Mr. ALLEN is otherwise active. He is an ex-Exalted ruler of Gainesville Lodge of Elks No. 990, of which he was secretary for four years, is secretary of the Rotary Club and member of the Board of Directors, was the first president of the Alachua County Motor Club, is a member of the Advertising Club and of the Merchants Association, and being an enthusiastic golfer, belongs to the Gainesville Golf and Country Clubs.
Mr. ALLEN's success in his undertakings has been notable, and that his own efforts have been the contributing cause but increases the respect and confidence placed in him. It may notbe out of place to add that the thought arises, in seeing his keen enjoyment of his well ordered home, that in such a sympathetic atmosphere may be developed the spirit that makes men strong for their battle with the world.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol II, page 26, 1923.
File contributed for use on the Official Alachua County FLGenWeb site, by Nancy Rayburn (firstname.lastname@example.org)