Born on 27 August 1866 in Shelby County, Indiana, Albin Newton Allen, named after his grandfather, was the son of William Allen, 1834–1908, and Mae Newton, 1837–1907. The family appears in Bow Creek, Phillips County, Kansas, in the 1880 federal census. Albin moved to Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas, and worked with a contractor, Matthew Judson Ashworth. On 25 December 1887, Albin married Ava Inez Ashworth, born on 7 February 1872 in Arcola, Douglas County, Illinois. Inez, as she was known, was the daughter of Matthew Judson, 1841–1905, and Eunice Walker, 1845–1898.

About 1890, the Allens and Ashworths moved to St. Louis, where they welcomed their ten Allen children.

    • Gladys Wren, 1891–1985, born on Knox Avenue.
    • Ellsworth Newton (Bud), 1894–1979, was born at 5449 Arsenal Street. Bud married and divorced Rose Price, 1901–1957.
    • Charles Parr, 1897–1952, was born at 3257 Jaspar Park. He married Myrtle Eckles, 1895–1987.
    • Eunice Mae, 1899–1995, was born at 4321 Scanlon. She married and divorced Gustave Zellmer, 1904–1968.
    • Russell Carl, 1901–1903
    • Julia Hughes, 1903–1971, married Edgar Schwerdtmann, 1899–1972. Russell and Julia were both born at 3153 Morganford.
    • Walter Judson, 1906–1988, married Ethel Yungermann, 1908–1967, and Laura Lee Hoeltge, 1920–2003. Walter was born at 4338 Humphrey.
    • Arnold Albin “Nip,” 1908–1991, born at 4332 Humphrey, married Wilsie Cawthon, 1907–2002. Some years later, Albin bought the house at 4332, and it was the family home for more than seventy years.
    • Leonora Myrtel “Lea,” 1910–2002
    • Harry Edwin, 1917–2005, married Mildred Shapard, 1916–1997.

Albin worked with Matthew Ashworth building houses in south St. Louis. Later doing business as A.N. Allen, he did general house repair including heating systems. A side project was making house numbers with a metal back crimped like a pie crust to hold the glass covering the foil numbers.

Albin was artistic and had a painting entered in the Artists Association of St. Louis exhibit at the Old Courthouse. Because he had little money for supplies, he used whatever he could find to make things. He used wood from carpentry jobs and laid parquet floors in the house at 4332. He built a desk of birds eye maple and in the living room he built bookcases with glass doors. In the center of the bookcases was a fake fireplace with the front painted to look like stone. He made the frames for his oil paint and foil pictures and built flower pots from stones he had gathered. One wonders what he could have done with education and money for materials.

Inez kept house and raised the children. She had surgery for breast cancer and Albin agreed to take her to visit their daughter, Eunice, in California. On 7 April 1930, Inez died on the train just outside of Douglas, Arizona. Four years later, Albin was diagnosed with cancer and died on 8 May 1935, with burial for both at Gatewood Gardens.

(Sources: census records, city directories, death certificates, family interviews, papers and correspondence)

Written by Ann Schwerdtmann Rother, granddaughter
February 2017

© 2017 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Albin and Inez Allen
Albin and Inez Allen
Photo in the collection of Ann Rother
Used with permission
Albin Allen advertisement
Advertisement from Albin Allen’s Company
Photo in the collection of Ann Rother
Used with permission

Return to St. Louis City/County Biographies.

Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 10:30