Alabama Pioneers Honored

Biography: Vassar Lyle Allen born September 28, 1868

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Lee, Macon and Jefferson County, Alabama

Vassar Lyle Allen was born at Tuskegee September 28, 1868, the son of George W. and Margaret (Wheat) Allen. His parents resided for many years at Lafayette but removed to Tuskegee in 1867, where his father engaged in cotton planting. His early boyhood was spent in Opelika, Lee County, Alabama.

At the age of fifteen, he matriculated at the Agricultural and mechanical college, (later named the Alabama polytechnic institute, presently named Auburn University), at Auburn, where he graduated, B. S. 1887. He was an instructor in English and mathematics in 1888, carried post-graduate work, and acted as the commandant of cadets with the rank of major. In 1888, he received the degree of M. S. and from 1888 until the summer of 1893 was a professor of English and science in the Georgia military institute at Atlanta.

He moved to Birmingham and began the study of law under W. R. Houghton and was admitted to the bar October 25, 1893. He practiced his profession in Birmingham. In 1921, he was President of the Birmingham Bar Association.

Vassar was a Democrat and a Methodist He married at Huntsville, Alabama on June 14, 1899, Sallie Ward Bradford, (b. Dec. 25, 1878 – d. Jun 20, 1961) daughter of Henry S. and Dora (Hereford) Bradford. He and his wife resided in Birmingham, Alabama on Highland Avenue. In 1915, a small group of women created the Birmingham Center of the national Drama League of America. The organization was formed to bring community theatre to Birmingham. Mrs. Vassar Allen served as founding president.

They had the following known children:

  1. Vassar Lyle Allen, Jr. (b. Apr 3, 1905, Washington, D.C. – d. Mar 11, 1971, Glendale, LA, California) He was adopted. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. He was a film technician married to Marie L. ( b. 1915 -last name unknown) in the 1940 Glendale, CA. Census.

Vassar Lyle Allen died Jan 15, 1962, in Roanoke, Randolph County, Alabama at the age of 93. He is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. Sallie W. Bradford Allen died Jun 20, 1961, at the age of 82 and is also buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.


  1. Find A Grave Memorial# 90564159 and # 90563970
  2. – 1940 U. S. Census, 1910, 1920 U. S. census
  3. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen


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