Thursday, March 10, 2016
Dimmit County Mesquite Roots pg 132-133 James and Mary Ann Key Allen
JAMES AND MARY ANN KEY ALLEN
James Allen married Mary Ann Key in February of 1852 in Alabama. They had one child born in Alabama, then moved to Gonzales, County, Texas in the mid-1850's.
The Allens had seven children: Henry Clarence, Sarah Elizabeth, Augustus "Gus" Key, Laura Jane, Marion Jackson, Lillian Lee, and Thomas Jefferson.
Henry Clarence Allen was born November 20, 1852. He married Annetta C. Miller on December 10, 1874. Henry died September 3, 1923.
Sarah Elizabeth Allen was borne June 24, 1856. She died as an infant.
Augustus "Gus" Key Allen was born June 24, 1857. He married Mollie Ann Scales in 1881. Gus died September 29,1939.
Laura Jane Allen was born January 9, 1858. She married H. W. Oliver in 1880. After his death, she married Robert Luther Hall on February 28, 1887. Laura Jane died April 11, 1921.
Marion Jackson Allen was born March 2, 1861. He married Jane Stacey. Marion died September 7, 1932.
Lillian Lee Allen was born November 26, 1863. She married Thomas I. McMillan in 1882.
Thomas Jefferson Allen was born August 30, 1865. He married Lillie Louise Beach (see separate story).
James Allen, the father of this family, died in 1868. Clarence, the oldest son, came to Dimmit County and looked over the area in late 1882. He probably visited the Halls, who had been neighbors in Gonzales County. He returned home and told the family about the area.
Mary Ann Key Allen and her four sons and their families came by wagon to Dimmit County, driving their livestock with them. Mary Ann and three sons homesteaded 160 acres each. Tom, the youngest, was only 18, not old enough to homestead, so he stayed with his mother. Their neighbors were the Halls, Vespers, Wests, Trammels, Browns, Gardners, Grahams, Wards, McMains, Williamses, and others.
The acreage they homesteaded was next to the Halls in the community known as Prairie View or Puddin'. Two orphan boys, George and Alex Emms, came with the Allens. After tow years, George the oldest, left. Alex lived on with the Allens and later married Camilla. Clarence Allen's daughter.
The first year they lived in tents while they built their homes, cleared land, and constructed pens and a barn with a loft, for which they used split logs. They had to live on the land for five years in order to receive title to it. Later they bought more land and leased some, as well. They received one lease free for 10 years for fencing the land.
Gus Allen was the first to leave Dimmit County. His wife did not like the country, and said everything had thorns to stick you and that all the animals and insects would bite or sting, and that there was at least one rattlesnake under each bush. When she found a rattlesnake under her table while preparing a meal, that was the last straw. She told her husband, Gus, "Lets get out of here", and they moved to Oklahoma, her home.
Clarence and his family were the next to move. They went to Batesville, Texas. Then Marion and his family moved to Midland, Texas. As each family left, they sold out to other members of the family.
Tom, the youngest, became owner of the entire ranch. His mother developed ill health and moved out to Van Horn, Texas to live with her daughter Laura Allen hall.