Ira C. ALLEN, the subject of this sketch, was born at Bristol, a small
town at the foot of the western slope of the Green Mountains, on the 4th
day of April, 1816. His father, Richard ALLEN, was a descendant of Timothy
ALLEN, who came from Woodbury, Conn., in 1768 to Pawlet, Rutland County,
Vt.; he was a cousin of Ethan ALLEN. His son, Timothy ALLEN, Jr.,
was born in 1757 and died at Hartford, N. Y., in 1834. He married
Abigail MORSE. Their issue was nine children, one of whom was Richard
ALLEN. Timothy ALLEN, Jr., went to Bristol, Vt., near the close of
the last century; he owned a forge there and a farm, which he carried on
until 1815, at which time, having lost his wife, he married the widow of
Amby HIGBY and moved to Hartford, N. Y., where she resided. Richard
ALLEN was born in Pawlet, March 31, 1783. He was twice married; first
Nabby GROAT, of Bristol, February 23, 1806, the issue being two daughters,
one of whom, Mrs. N. C.ROSE, of Peoria, Ill., is still living. Mrs.ALLEN
died September 10, 1810 and he married for his second wife Annie JOHNSON,
July 21, 1811; she was a native of Ticonderoga,N.Y.
ALLEN, Jr., was a soldier in theRevolutionary army and fought under Colonel
HERRICK at the battle of Bennington, when nineteen years old. Richard
ALLEN was conspicuous as a soldier in the second war with Great Britain;
was adjutant in a regiment of the Addison county cavalry. His regiment
was ordered to the Canadian lines to enforce the embargo and afterwards
returned to Vergennes to aid in guarding the shipping then in process of
building for MacDonough's fleet, which was to share a glorious part in
the battle of Plattsburgh. When the shipping moved out upon the lake,
the troops marched to Burlington, only to find the governor's proclamation
ordering them not to leave the State. Richard ALLEN, with others,
then resigned his commission. When Jehiel SAXTON afterward called
for volunteers in the streets of Burlington, Richard ALLEN's name went
upon the list as the seventeenth volunteer; he subsequently took an active
part in the engagement at Plattsburgh and Saranac Bridge. It will
be seen that the subject of this sketch comes from good and patriotic stock.
Richard ALLEN was the father of seven children by his second wife, viz.:
Jane, Richard, Ira C., Elizabeth, Lucinda, Willard and Lucy Ann, all of
whom reached maturity and all but the eldest are now living.
completing a sketch of Mr. ALLEN we cannot do better than quote the language
of judge C. M. WILLARD, in an article in the Financier, as follows:
The Hon. Ira C. ALLEN, founder and
president of the Allen National Bank of Fairhaven, Vt., is a fair type
of the energy, industry, frugality and thrift of the better class of New
England business men. Such men are seldom 'born to the purple' and
owe little, if anything, to adventitious surroundings or the advantages
of scholastic training. The culture and habits born of privation
and toil, with the moral and religious culture of a right home life, are
a more substantial foundation for a successful life than an inherited fortune.
A character thus constituted not only invites success, but survives the
storms which not infrequently make shipwrecks of material wealth.
1817 his parents removed to Hartford, N.Y., where his father prosecuted
the joint business of farmer, tanner and shoemaker. The succeeding
eighteen years of the son's life were spent at home, the last six years
as an apprentice in the shoe-shop with the annual respite of three months
for attendance at the district school. At the age of nineteen his
ambition led him to seek a business of wider scope and larger possibilities
than a country shoe-shop. Strange as it may seem to the young men
of today, he negotiated with his father for, and actually purchased from
him the value of his services for the remainder of his minority and started
out to shift for himself. He entered the country store of his uncle,
Alonson ALLEN, Livingston county, N.Y., in 1835, and the following year
removed with him to Fairhaven,Vt. where he has since resided, with the
exception of one year at Whitehall, N.Y.(1844), and another in New York
city (1845) being employed as book-keeper in the importing and jobbing
dry goods house of Woodward & Terbell. He continued in the employment
of his uncle until 1846, when he was received as a partner under the firm
name of A. & I.C.ALLEN. In 1851 he purchased of his uncle one-fourth
interest in the marble business of Allen & Adams, the new firm being
Allen,Adams & Co.
In 1854 he purchased the remainder
of his uncle’s interest in the marble business and thenceforth the business
was conducted under the firm name of Adams & Allen. This was
a most fortunate venture, though it involved a heavy indebtedness.
They purchased the marble quarry that had heretofore been worked under
a lease. This was among the first marble quarries opened in Rutland
county and was worked by his firm to the depth of one hundred and fifty
feet. He made no mistake in his expectations of the marble business,
then in its infancy. He devoted his untiring energy to its prosperity
and reaped a large profit therefrom, until 1868, when the company sold
their quarry in West Rutland and he in the following year sold to his partner
his interest in the mill and other company property at Fairhaven.
Since that time he has made heavy investments
in railroads, iron mines, slate interests and real estate, all with exceptional
success. He was one of the projectors and also one of the ten original
subscribers to the capital stock of the First National Bank of this place;
has officiated there as director, vice-president and president. He
was a prominent promoter and investor in the stock of the Fairhaven Marble
and Marbleized Slate Company, which was organized in 1869. He served
as vice-president of this company from its organization until the death
of Colonel ALLEN, its first president, when he succeeded to the presidency,
which office he now fills. He was an original subscriber to the stock
of the Rutland and Whitehall Railroad Company; for many years was a director,
its treasure, and now its vice-president. He is also a director in
the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad Company. In 1879, with a few
other capitalists, he organized the Allen National Bank and was made its
president. In addition to his business cares he has served two terms
each as representative, 1861-62, and senator, 1867-68, in the State
Legislature, with the same fidelity which has characterized his private
purchased of W.C.KITTREDGE, in 1866, his dwelling and land on the
west side of the park and erected his marble residence in 1866-67.
He was one of the founders of and contributors to the Vermont Academy,
at Saxton's River, Vt., and for many years has been on the board of trustees.
ALLEN is a man of large social qualities, of tender domestic affections,
decided religious proclivities and a generous supporter of the church with
which he is connected.
C. ALLEN was married September 19, 1855, to Mary E. RICHARDSON, of Geneva,N.Y.
Their children are as follows: Charles R. ALLEN, born May 5, 1857;
Ira R. ALLEN, born March 29, 1859. Jessie A. ALLEN, born October
16, 1860; Francis E. ALLEN, born April 29, 1863. All of these
are living. Charles R. ALLEN was married November 29, 1882
to Jessie E. DAILEY of Hampton, N.Y.; they have one child, Lura Elizabeth,
born March 10th, 1855. Mrs. ALLEN died on the 20th of March,
1885, at Jacksonville, Florida.
of Rutland County Vermont"
H. P. Smith & W. R. Rann
D. Mason &
Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N.Y.