Bio: Allen, Hiram S. (1806 - 1886)
Contact: Sandra Wright
Surnames: Allen, Cunningham, De Marie
----Source: Historical and Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin (1891 - 1892) Pages 394-395
Allen, Hiram S. (18 Sep 1806 - 6 Mar 1886)
Hiram S. Allen (deceased), the founder of Chippewa Falls, was a native of Vermont, born September 18, 1806. There he grew to manhood, and received such education as the common schools of that state afforded. He was reared in the lumber business, but early in life conceived the idea that he great northwest offered better advantage for his talents, and in 1833 he resolved to try his fortunes in this country, of which but little was known at the time. He first stopped at Petersburg, Ill., where he remained but one year; and then came to the Chippewa Valley, and the following year bought the first mill ever erected in this Valley, of Street & Lockwood, and thus laid the foundation of a flourishing career and an active business life. Mr. Allen entered the first land here, laid out the town, built the first grist-mill and the first flouring-mill, and was subsequently identified with every public enterprise undertaken in this Valley during the early days of hardship and trail. Of his early struggles in business, it would take volumes to tell, but he always pursued his way in a quiet manner, and although at different times financial reverses overtook him, he still possessed the same disposition.
Upon the organization of Chippewa County in 1853, Mr. Allen was the unanimous choice of the people for treasurer. This, with the exception of being a member of the board of education, is the only public office he ever held, though many were offered him at various times. For him, political contention, strife and conquest had no charms, as he preferred the more peaceful walks of business life. To show the esteem in which he was held by the citizens of Chippewa Falls, the following proclamation was issued by the mayor at the time of his death, which occurred March 6, 1886:
“Whereas, The funeral of our honored citizen, Hiram S. Allen, who died on the sixth inst., will be held at two o’clock P.M. of this day. Now, therefore, in view of the fact that H.S. Allen was the pioneer settler of this city, and during his lifetime contributed more then any other toward the growth and prosperity of our county and city, and with a view of showing that respect to the memory of the deceased which is long life in this community and his many good qualities of nature demand, I.T.J. Cunningham, mayor of the city of Chippewa Falls, do herby request that all places of business in the city of Chippewa Falls be closed from the hour of two o’clock to four o’clock P.M., of this day, being the time of the funeral of said H.D. Allen, and all citizens join in paying respect to the memory of the deceased by attending the funeral at the hour named. Dated at Chippewa Falls, March 8, 1996. T.J. Cunningham, Mayor”
As to his personal character, suffice is to say, he lived and died an honorable, modest man, and left behind him a record which might well be imitated. His charities were very liberal, and bestowed without ostentation, as many of the early settlers attest. He was a man of cool judgment and kind heart, who has left a multitude of friends and no enemies, and it can be truthfully said that the world is better for his having lived in it.
In September, 1838, he was united in marriage with Marie De Marie, daughter of Louis De Marie, one of the first settlers here, and with her he lived happily for nearly fifty years. To this union was born a large family, as follows: Mary, October 9, 1840 (deceased); Henry, September 28, 1841 (deceased); Laura, December 28, 1843 (deceased); Charles, August 15, 1845; Charlotte, April 1, 1847; Edward, October 10, 1848; Angeline, March 3, 1850; Ira, October 7, 1851 (deceased); Cordelia, March 18, 1853 (deceased); John, March 28, 1856; Hannah, October 9, 1857.
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