Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Meverell Knox Allen (1846-1919)

From the 1892 "History of Kentucky".

  A longtime physician based in Louisville, Kentucky, Meverell Knox Allen had a brief stay on his state's political stage in the late 19th century, being a delegate to the Kentucky Constitutional Convention of 1890-91. The son of James and Caroline (Muir) Allen, Meverell K. Allen was born on April 15, 1846, in Spencer County, Kentucky. His early education was obtained in schools local to Spencer County, and following a one year stint as a school teacher decided upon a career in medicine. He would study medicine under Taylorsville physician Thomas Allen beginning in 1864 and later enrolled in the University of Louisville's department of medicine. Allen earned his medical degree in 1867 and shortly thereafter opened his practice in Taylorsville. 
  In the same year as his graduation, Allen married to Bloomfield, Kentucky native Sue Miles. The marriage proved to be brief, as Miles is recorded as dying shortly afterward. In 1869 Allen remarried, taking as his wife one Eliza Stone (1852-1886), with whom he would have one daughter, Maud Katie (1872-1905).
  Meverell K. Allen's residency in Taylorsville extended until 1870, whereafter he removed to Louisville. Following his resettlement, he returned to practicing medicine and in 1874 was elected as that city's health officer, a position he would hold until 1877. In 1880 he was named as the physician for the Louisville city workhouse, and in addition to medicine was also heavily involved in Louisville educational affairs, being a school trustee and president of the city school board (holding the latter office from 1888-90.)
  Active in several business concerns in Louisville, Allen was a former president of the Daisy Realty Company and a director of the Snider Land and Stock Company. He also attained distinction in banking, serving as director of the Westview Savings Bank and Building Company and was vice president of the Standard National Savings and Loan Association. 
  Allen's most prominent foray into state politics came in 1890 when he was elected as a delegate from Louisville's 2nd district to the Kentucky Constitutional Convention. During the convention proceedings, Allen sat on the committees on Elections, Education and Railroads & Commerce, and also offered a resolution wanting to amend the then existing state constitution to 
"Establish three Magisterial Districts for the city of Louisville in lieu of the City Court of said city, which shall be abolished, together with all officers connected therewith; said Magisterial Districts so established to have criminal jurisdiction, and civil jurisdiction to the extent of three hundred dollars."
Portrait courtesy of the Kentucky State Historical Society.

  Following his constitutional convention service, Allen again served as health officer for the city of Louisville and for a number of years was retained as medical director for the Inter-Southern Life Insurance Company. On March 13, 1919, Allen died of heart disease at his Louisville home and was later interred alongside his wife and daughter at the famed Cave Hill Cemetery in that city.


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