William Allen [ 1803 - 1901 ]

  • Tailor 1838 - 1842; possibly 1851

Thomas Langton in 1838 records that Allen, a tailor, had married a widow from the States and moved from a half acre lot in either Fenelon or Verulam to Fenelon Falls “where he could take a town lot and follow his trade”. In 1841 Anne Langton refers to him again; “a little business turned up for us at Allen’s”: and mentions a “tailor” in a letter of November 8th, 1842. A tailor, William Allan appears in the 1851 census of Fenelon Township and in the 1851 Canada Directory. Described as a 44 year-old, Scottish-born Baptist, he lived with his 55 year-old wife in a one storey log house. This is probably the same man. Otherwise there is little record of one of the village’s first merchants, until his death 50 years later.

A William Allen died in Fenelon Falls on February 3, 1901, at the age of 97. Scottish born, he lived for a while in Kingston, and then in the Township of Ops, before moving to Verulam about 1835, and subsequently to Fenelon Falls. “Before coming to these parts he had married the mother of Mr. W.R. Dick [Dick moved to Manitoba about 1871]. About 1872 [the implication is that Mrs. Allen is dead], Mr. Allen followed his step-son to Manitoba where he remained two or three years. Coming back to the Falls he lived for a time with Mrs. Henry Graham, then with Mrs. Cornelius Curtis Sr. in Verulam, and about nineteen years ago moved to the residence of Mr. John A. Ellis whose wife is Mr. Dick’s daughter. While working in the woods, though we cannot ascertain when, he was injured by a tree falling across his back, and about eight or ten years ago he became practically bedfast… He was a man of good abilities and unblemished character; and though his long confinement to the house had caused him to be almost forgotten, his funeral… was numerously attended.” [FFPL 01-1].

5 Variant spelling: Allan. He is also referred to as “Mr. Allen.”

6 Gentlewoman in Upper Canada. (Toronto 1950); 58.

7 Langton Records; 287 (Thursday 5 August 1841); Gentlewoman; 206.

8 The 1891 Village census records Allen as an 87 year-old lodger of John A. Ellis and Margaret [Dick] Ellis. His profession is still listed as “tailor.” Allen was the step-father of William Dick and therefore Margaret Ellis’s step-grandfather.

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