in a Pecan Shell
In 1870 by a purchasing agent for the Houston and Texas Central Railway
selected the site for a new town and (wisely) named it not for himself,
but for railroad promoter (and former State Attorney General) Ebenezer
Allen. A post office was granted in 1876. In 1880 outlaw Sam
Bass supposedly committed Texas' first train robbery at Allen.
The population was an estimated 350 in 1884 and in 1908 the Texas
Traction Company built an electric railway.
By 1915 the population was up to 550, declining to 400 in the 1940s.
Train service was cancelled in the late 40s. From the late 60s to
the present, Allen has experienced a population boom. From a population
of just 1940 in 1970 it increased to 8,314 in just ten years. Ten
years later it was up to 18,000 and in 2004 it has grown to over 43,000.
Subject: Downtown Allen
Of the larger cities in Collin
County, Allen has the fewest preserved buildings in it's old downtown.
None of the buildings other than the following caught my eye. The
historical buildings that are there are the depot and a couple of
homes that had been converted to restaurants. Downtown is dominated
by the First Baptist Church complex just to the east.
Perhaps in response to the lack of historical buildings, Allen has
started construction of a historical village. Some of the structures
that will be displayed there are in this set of photos. The park is
just north of what remains of the old downtown. - Mike
Price, November 29, 2007
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact