Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lovatus Chapman Allen (1816-1901)

Portrait from the History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, 1881.

    A transplant to Michigan from Vermont, Lovatus Chapman Allen rose to become a prominent citizen in Washtenaw County, where he was a large landowner and farmer. A holder of a number of local political offices in York township in that county, Allen was later elected to one term in the Michigan House of Representatives in the early 1860s. Born in Huntington, Vermont on September 21, 1816, Lovatus Chapman Allen was one of nine children born to Edward and Abigail (Palmer) Allen
   The 1881 History of Washtenaw County records that Lovatus Allen began his schooling in a log cabin schoolhouse located on his father's property and following his family's removal to the nearby town of Richmond attended schools local to that area. At age eighteen he began a stint as a school teacher and during the summer months worked the family farm. Allen continued along the route until aged twenty, when he left home to seek out work in Massachusetts. After a short spell working in a gun-maker's shop in that state he returned home to Vermont, where he continued to teach and farm until reaching age twenty-five.
   In the early 1840s Lovatus Allen left Vermont for Deckertown, New Jersey, where his brother Carlos had settled some years previously. Allen would teach in this area for several years and in 1847 married to Sarah Dewey (1822-1881), to whom he was wed for over thirty years. The couple would become parents to ten children, who are listed as follows in order of birth: Kate (born 1848), Mary E. (1849-1940), Louisa (1850-1938), Laura Anne (1852-1936), Lovatus (died in infancy in 1853), )Ada (birth date unknown) Adelaide (1855-1926), Alice (1856-1950), Ida (1860-1945) and William Fitch (1864-1952).
   Following his marriage Lovatus Allen removed to Branchville, New Jersey, where for three years he was affiliated with a woolen mill in that town. In 1850 he pulled up stakes once again, this time resettling in Washtenaw, Michigan. He would reside here for the remainder of his life and after a period of establishing roots in the community built up a substantial farming complex. In addition to farming Allen also taught school and was elected to a number of local political offices, including that of school inspector and justice of the peace.
   In 1862 Allen reached his highest degree of political prominence when he was elected to represent Washtenaw County in the Michigan State House of Representatives. Serving in the session of 1863-65, Allen returned to farming after leaving the house and was widowed in 1881. Three years prior to his death Lovatus Allen was invited by then Michigan Governor Hazen Pingree to attend the dedication of a monument honoring former Governor Austin Blair. The 82 year old former representative traveled to Lansing to attend the ceremony and was recorded as being "much pleased" at having visited the state capitol.
   Lovatus Chapman Allen died in York Township on September 5, 1901, just two weeks short of his 85th birthday. He was survived by several of his children and was later buried at the Marble Park Cemetery in Milan, Michigan.

From the October 20, 1898 Saline, Michigan Observer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. His daughter, Laura A Allen Alderman became a renown orchardist in Dakota Territory owning and operating one of the largest orchards in the United States. She also was a very prominent proponent for Temperance and Women's Suffrage.

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