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Charles Herbert Allen: Wikis


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Charles Herbert Allen

1st appointed U.S. civil governor Governor of Puerto Rico
In office
1900 – 1901
Preceded by George Whitefield Davis
Succeeded by William Henry Hunt

In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1889
Preceded by William A. Russell
Succeeded by Frederic T. Greenhalge

Born April 15, 1848(1848-04-15)
Lowell, Massachusetts
Died April 20, 1934 (aged 86)
Lowell, Massachusetts
Political party Republican

Charles Herbert Allen (April 15, 1848 – April 20, 1934) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to Otis and Louisa (Bixby) Allen and died at his Rolfe Street home "The Terraces" in Lowell and is buried in Lowell Cemetery. The home still stands known as Allen House on the South Campus of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which became the Chancellors office under Marty Meehans tenure as chancellor.


Early life

One of Lowell's foremost citizens, Allen had a very active business and political career as well as being an artist, musician, and cabinet-maker. He attended public and private schools and, after graduating from Amherst College in 1869, Allen engaged in the manufacture of wooden boxes and in the lumber business at his father's company, Otis Allen and Son. Later he became a trustee of Amherst College and was honored with an LL.D. degree in 1900.

Political career

Allen's political career encompassed the Lowell School Committee, where he was instrumental in starting the Lowell Evening Schools; two terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1881 and 1882; one term in the Massachusetts Senate in 1883; and elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses, March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1889. Allen was nominated for governor by the Republicans in 1890 but was defeated by William E. Russell.

In 1884, he received the title "Colonel," when Governor George Dexter Robinson appointed him to his personal staff. Allen's large circle of friends always used this designation when addressing him. He also served as Massachusetts Prison Commissioner from 1897 to 1898.

In 1898 President William McKinley named Allen Assistant Secretary of the Navy when Theodore Roosevelt resigned the post to enter the Spanish-American War. He held this position from 1898 to 1900. At the end of the war President McKinley appointed Allen as the first civilian governor of Puerto Rico. Allen retired from this post in 1902 with the island government out of debt and with over one million dollars in its treasury.

Life after Politics

Upon his return home to Lowell, he became financially interested in banking and other enterprises and served on the board of directors for several banks and businesses in Lowell and New York. Allen served as vice president of the Morton Trust Company and of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York and as president of the American Sugar Refining Company.

Private life

Allen married Harriet C. Dean of Manchester, New Hampshire in 1870 and together they raised two daughters, Bertha and Louise. Bertha Allen later married naval officer George W. Logan in 1900 at the Palace (residence) of Governor Charles Allen, Puerto Rico. Louise Allen (1875-1953), a sculptor of portraits, garden and idealistic pieces, she studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She was a member of many prestigious societies including the Copley Society of Boston and the National Sculpture Society. She completed a World War Memorial in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and a memorial tablet for Bancroft Hall in Annapolis, Maryland. Louise married Alexander F. Hobbs in 1898 at the "Allen House" in Lowell, they had one son. She divorced Hobbs and married artist Albert Henry Atkins (1899-1951).

Involved in a variety of interests. As a painter, twenty-seven landscape and marine paintings are in the Allen Collection of the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell. As a pasionate garden, the grounds of Allen and his wife's home "The Terraces" flourished with gardens, fountains, a pergola, and a large gazebo which can be seen in the University of Maasachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History, Allen House Collection donated by Walter E. Hayes, groundskeeper.


  • Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002, page 73; Courier Citizen, April 21, 1934;
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress;
  • Whistler House Museum of Art files.
  • Peter Kostoulakos, ISA ? Fine Art Consultant

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William A. Russell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 8th congressional district

March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1889
Succeeded by
Frederic T. Greenhalge
Political offices
Preceded by
George Whitefield Davis
Governor of Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
William Henry Hunt

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