FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Alachua Co. Biographies
ALLEN, G. Frank
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol II, page 26, 1923.
ALLEN, G. FRANK. So typically American has been the career of one of Gainesville's prominent
citizens, G. FRANK ALLEN, vice president and general manager of the Tampa-Jacksonville Railroad,
and an important factor in many other large enterprises, that the story is well worth the
telling, being both interesting and inspiring. Mr. ALLEN was born at Savannah, Georgia,
April 17, 1891. His parents were GEORGE F. and MARY LILLIAN (ENGLISH) ALLEN, the latter of
whom died in his early boyhood. His father was born at Savannah in 1864, for over a quarter
of a century was a printer and valued employee on the Savannah Morning News, and died in that
city in 1916.
G. FRANK ALLEN was reared by his grandmother. His educational advantages in boyhood were
rather limited as far as schooling went, but an industrious habit, quick intelligence and
independent spirit early advanced his fortunes and his thirteenth birthday found him employed
as a messenger by the Atlanta Coast Line Railroad Company. He became telephone operator,
attended a night school, and after that was made a clerk in the yardmaster's office. His
industry and efficiency came to the attention of A. D. MENDES, then general superintendent
of the Georgia Coast & Piedmont Railroad, who secured the young man as clerk and stenographer
in his office at Darien, Georgia.
Later Mr. ALLEN accepted a clerkship in the wholesale hardware house of J. D. Weed & Company
at Savannah, but soon returned to his former railroad position. He then spent two years,
1910 and 1911, at St. Mary's College, Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, where he took
a complete course on business administration, finance and bookkeeping, and graduated from
that school on June 15, 1911, as master accountant. In the meanwhile A. P. (sic) MENDES had
become vice president of the Tampa & Jacksonville Railroad Company, and on July 22, 1911,
Mr. ALLEN accompanied him to Gainesville. The confidence inspired was represented by his
appointment at that time as assistant treasurer and auditor of the road, which was further
emphasized in July, 1918, when he was made vice president and general manager. Mr. ALLEN
enjoys the distinction of being the youngest man in railroad history in the United Sates to
hold such positions. He is further identified with enterprises of large importance, being
a stockholder and director of his railroad company, a stockholder in the Florida Bank and
Trust Company of Gainesville, owns a farm near this city, and since 1919 has been sales
manager for the Gainesville Farmers' Union. This co-operative association grows cucumbers,
beans, lettuce and cabbages on an extensive scale, and Mr. ALLEN has sold many thousands of
dollars worth of produce for them.
Mr. ALLEN married at Gainesville, on November 6, 1915, Miss BUELAH TOUSEY, who was born at
Bronson, Levy County, Florida. Her father, CLAY TOUSEY, is engaged in the grocery business
at Gainesville. Mr. And Mrs. ALLEN have two little daughters, SARAH LILLIAN and BUELAH
JOSEPHINE. Mr. ALLEN belongs to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, while Mrs. ALLEN belongs
to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In addition to being one of the progressive business men of Gainesville Mr. ALLEN is otherwise
active. He is an ex-Exalted ruler of Gainesville Lodge of Elks No. 990, of which he was
secretary for four years, is secretary of the Rotary Club and member of the Board of Directors,
was the first president of the Alachua County Motor Club, is a member of the Advertising
Club and of the Merchants Association, and being an enthusiastic golfer, belongs to the
Gainesville Golf and Country Clubs.
Mr. ALLEN's success in his undertakings has been notable, and that his own efforts have been
the contributing cause but increases the respect and confidence placed in him. It may not
be out of place to add that the thought arises, in seeing his keen enjoyment of his well
ordered home, that in such a sympathetic atmosphere may be developed the spirit that makes
men strong for their battle with the world.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented March 11, 2010