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Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen (August 29, 1813 – April 8, 1882) was a railroad builder and later a member of the United States House of Representatives from Missouri.

Allen was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Jonathan and Eunice Larned Allen, and was grandson to Rev. Thomas Allen, a noted American revolutionary. He attended Pittsfield Academy and Berkshire Gymnasium, graduated from Union College in 1832, where he obtained his degree with Phi Beta Kappa honors and was an early member of The Kappa Alpha Society. He then studied law and was admitted to the New York bar in 1835. In 1837, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he founded the newspaper The Madisonian, a Democratic newspaper. He was the printer of the United States House of Representatives from 1837-1839, and printer to the United States Senate from 1839-1842.

In 1842 Allen married Ann Russell and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. He was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 1850, remaining a member of that body through 1854. In 1851 he became president of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway (Pacific Railroad), and in 1852 took the first steam locomotive to cross the Mississippi River. He was also the organizer of the banking house Allen, Copp & Nisbet in 1858. He subsequently sold his railway interests and retired from business. He was the founder of the Allen professorship of Mining and Metallurgy at Washington University in St. Louis and in 1876 he donated the Berkshire Athenaeum to his hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Allen was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Missouri in 1881, and died in Washington, D.C. before his first term was completed, in April, 1882. He was buried in Pittsfield Cemetery, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Erastus Wells
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
James Henry McLean


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