Alabama Pioneers Honored

PATRON – Biography: Weldon Gray Allen born November 12, 1870





Weldon Gray Allen was a farmer and legislator He was born November 12, 1870, at Jefferson, Marengo County, the son of William Caldwell and Julia (Finch) Allen. William Caldwell Allen moved to Alabama from North Carolina early in life, was a farmer and member of the C. S. cavalry. Weldon was the grandson of John Gray Allen, a native of North Carolina, and of Weldon Daniel and Mary (Simmons) Finch, who lived in Marengo County and were of English ancestry.

The following in italics is from the Allen family papers; business and personal papers of John G. Allen (1810-1891) and his son Charles Edward (1860-1943) planters of Marengo County, Alabama, including Civil War letters, tenant farmer contracts, mortgages and indentures, bills and receipts, personal letters, insurance policies, and miscellaneous items relating to the family. The paper is in the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama.

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His grandfather, John Gray Allen was born June 10, 1810, in North Carolina and died September 7, 1891, in Alabama. The Allen family moved to Old Spring Hill, Marengo County, Alabama from Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina. John Gray Allen was the son of Richard Allen, Jr. and Mary Gray, the daughter of John Gray. The other children of Richard and Mary Gray were George W. Allen, Richard Proctor Allen, Thetis Allen, and Sarah Allen.

John Gray Allen married three times. His first wife Anne Allen (unrelated) died in 1835 before he came to Alabama. By this marriage, he had three children: William Caldwess Allen, Mary Jane Allen (1838-1909), and Richard Proctor Allen (1841-1909).

On August 4, 1842, John Gray Allen married Nancy Roe Kennon Curtis (March 9, 1816-October 5,1849), the widow of Hiram Boatright and the daughter of Samuel Curtis. Four children were born of this marriage: Elizabeth Gray Allen, John Curtis Allen (1848-1914), Leroy Jones Allen (1847-?), and Thomas Roe Allen (1848-1865).

Ann Curtis (June 13, 1817-November 17, 1897), whom John Gray Allen married in 1858, was the daughter of William Curtis, the granddaughter of Samuel Curtis, and the niece of Nancy Roe Kennon Curtis–the second wife of John Gray Allen. They had one son, Charles Edward Allen (August 30, 1860- May 23, 1943).

In 1857, John Gray Allen built a handsome two-story house in Old Spring Hill, which is still occupied by his descendants (1978). He was an extensive cotton planter as well as a merchant, and he frequently financed other planters by accepting mortgages on their property and crops.

John Gray Allen was a trustee of the Old Spring Hill Academy and served as a Justice of the Peace in 1850. Although he was too old to fight in the Civil War, he furnished supplies and materials in support of the Southern cause. Due to his activities during the Civil War, he was stripped of his citizenship following the conflict but had it restored by Andrew Johnson’s 1868 Presidential Pardon.

William Caldwell Allen, the oldest son of John Gray Allen by his first marriage, was born August 28, 1836, in North Carolina and died April 22, 1881, in Alabama. He married Julia Anne Finch (October 15, 1845-December 13, 1909) on April 11, 1866, and had one son Weldon Gray Allen. At the beginning of the Civil War, William Caldwell Allen joined the Jefferson Davis Company of Cavalry which was engaged in many conflicts in Virginia and Tennessee. Although seriously wounded during the war, he recovered and returned to Marengo County where he farmed and led and active part in county affairs.

Charles Edward Allen, the only child of John Gray Allen by this third wife Anne Curtis, was born August 30, 1860, and died May 23, 1943. He attended the Spring Hill Academy and remained a life-long resident of Old Spring Hill where he was a successful farmer. He was active in county affairs and was a member of the Marengo County Board of Education. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias. The Allen papers show that John Gray Allen was a successful cotton planter with extensive holdings, who financed other planters by accepting mortgages on their lands and crops. Charles Allen seems to have taken over his father’s business of financing during the 1880s and ran it until at least 1900.

Weldon Gray Allen was educated in the common schools of Marengo County and at Southern University but did not complete the course. Weldon became farmer and stock raiser. From 1896 to 1907 he was a notary public and ex-officio justice of the peace. In 1919, he was a member of the Alabama legislature, 1919, from Marengo County. He was a Democrat; Methodist; Mason; Woodman of the World; and Knight of Pythias.

Weldon married Annie Rhee Watts, daughter of Augustus and Mary (Miller) Watts, of Wilcox County. The resided in Demopolis, Alabama in 1920.

Their children were:

  1. Weldon Gray Allen, deceased at an early age
  2. William Caldwell Allen

Weldon Gray Allen took a gun and killed himself for some unknown reason in 1932. He was a very successful in his profession. He is buried in Jefferson Cemetery, Jefferson, Marengo County, Alabama.


    1. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
    2. Find A Grave Memorial# 25505424 # 25505425 # 25505423 # 25505440 # 25505436
    3. The Allen Papers

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