Biography of Henry Justin Allen

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Henry Justin Allen of Wichita had achieved a position among Kansas’ leading newspaper editors and publishers. He began as a newspaper reporter, was editor and owner at different times of various papers in the state, and is now proprietor of the Wichita Beacon.

Mr. Allen was born at Warren, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1869, and his parents John and Rebecca Elizabeth (Goodin) Allen were natives of the same section. John Allen served four years in the Ninth New York Cavalry, and a few years after the close of the war came west to Kansas, where he went through the pioneer hardships entailed upon the early settlers. Mr. Allen’s mother is still living, a resident of Clifton, Kansas.

While the accident of birth deprived Henry J. Allen of being a native son of Kansas, he had spent nearly all his conscious existence here. He attended the common schools at Burlingame, and completed his education in Washburn College at Topeka and at Baker University, from which he holds the degree Master of Arts.

He found newspaper work congenial to his tastes and talents, and as soon as possible became an individual publisher. In 1894 he bought the Manhattan Nationalist, and subsequently owned the Ottawa Herald and several other small town dailies in Kansas. In 1897 Mr. Allen purchased the Wichita Daily Beacon and is now chief owner of that paper, the recognized leader in news distribution and in influence in the southwestern quarter of the state. Mr. Allen is also president of the Beacon Building Company, which owned the ten-story office building from which the Beacon is published.

While Mr. Allen had no military record he had an interesting experience during the Spanish-American war in which he served as a war correspondent attached to Shafter’s division during the Cuban invasion. During the Stanley state administration he served as private secretary to the governor. For four years he was president of the State Board of Charities. This board at that time governed the insane hospital, the industrial schools and the charitable institutions of the state. Mr. Allen is properly classified as an independent republican. He was a progressive in 1912, and in 1914 was progressive candidate for governor. In 1916 he supported the regular republican ticket. He is a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellows and other fraternities, and of the Wichita Club, Kansas Club, Country Club and Riverside Club. His church is the Methodist.

Mr. Allen was married October 19, 1894, at Circleville, Kansas, to Miss Elsie Jane Nuzman. Her father Fred C. Nuzman of Circleville was a Kansas pioneer, coming to Jackson County in the late fifties. He afterwards participated in the Civil war as a Union soldier. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have one daughter, Henrietta Allen, still in school.

MLA Source Citation:

Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies. Web. 22 December 2014. - Last updated on Dec 29th, 2011

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