Long before its small-town charm and business friendly climate made it a popular suburb
of the Fort Worth- Dallas metropolitan area, Allen was a destination. And it was a town, then and
now, with a bright and promising future.
The rich grasslands with an abundance of springs and streams made the area a favored
hunting ground for Caddo and Comanche tribes. Tangible links to this chapter in the Allen areas
history are preserved at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary.
As Mexicans, and then Americans moved into the area there was a violent clash of
cultures. The tribes were pushed into the “Indian Territory” north of the Red River after a series
of pitched battles along Rowlett Creek in 1844.
In 1841, the Republic of Texas began offering 640-acre parcels to immigrants that would
establish farms, ranches, and homes. And the Republic of Texas also emulated the Mexicans and
began offering land grants to companies that would encourage immigration. Allen is in what was
the Peter’s Colony Land Grant from the Republic of Texas to the Texas Emigration & Land
The town of Allen is named for Ebenezer Allen even though he was never a resident. But
his contributions transformed Texas and he laid the foundation that ensured Allen and
neighboring communities would be prosperous and progressive.
Ebenezer Allen was born in Newport, New Hampshire on April 8, 1804, studied law, and
then immigrated to the Republic of Texas from Maine in 1839. He established a law practice in
Clarksville and was elected Attorney General for the Republic of Texas in 1844. As Attorney
General he was responsible for the drafting of annexation terms that resulted in Texas becoming
a part of the United States.
On March 11, 1848, he was awarded a charter by the state to build a railroad to compete
with the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad. Construction commenced in 1853 on a
railroad that would become the foundation for the Houston & Texas Central Railway, but the
project was terminated with the outbreak of the Civil War.
In 1870 a purchasing agent for the Houston & Texas Central Railway platted a town site
and began selling lots. The small rural community was named Allen in 1872.
Even with construction of an electric railway in late 1907 that connected Allen with
bigger cities growth was slow. In 1884 the population was estimated at 350 people. By 1915 it
had climbed to just 550. The Great Depression, and then suspension of railroad service in the
early 1940s, actually led to a period of decline.
Just as the railroad had almost a century before, in 1960 construction of U.S. 75 that
connected Allen with Dallas became a catalyst for growth. Then in the late 1960s, Allen was
rapidly transformed. The explosive growth of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, and the
construction of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, transformed the dusty little agricultural
center into a popular suburb. In just one decade, 1970 to 1980, the population skyrocketed from
less than 2,000 people to more than 8,000 residents.
Relocation of Developmental Learning Materials and InteCom, Incorporated to Allen in
the 1980s marked the beginning of a new era. An article published in 2020 noting development
of substantial new Class A office space is just one indication that that Allen has successfully
been building on that foundation.
If you are giving thought to relocating your business to Allen, San Antonio, Austin or the
Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, contact AmeriFirst Texas.
Written By Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America