FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives 



Transcribed from:  The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol III, 
page 148, 1923.

ALLEN, J. D., a retired business man and honored resident of Lakeland, where he is serving
as city judge, has had an eventful career such as few men even four score years of age can

He was born in Lee County, Virginia, September 13, 1842, son of FRANCES (sic) C. and ELIZA
(CLOUD) ALLEN, his father a native of Virginia and his mother of Eastern Tennessee. They
reared a family of six sons and six daughters, four of whom are still living. J. D. ALLEN
is the sixth child and third son. Five of the sons were soldiers in the Confederate Army
during the war between the states, and the two oldest, JOHN and WILLIAM, died while in the

J. D. ALLEN was reared and educated in Virginia and Tennessee, and in May, 1861, joined the
Confederate Army and was a valiant soldier for the cause until the end of the war, four years
later. He participated in many of the big battles of the war, including Chancellorsville
and Gettysburg, and he was not far from the spot on the battlefield of Chancellorsville,
where Stonewall Jackson fell fatally wounded. Mr. ALLEN bore almost a charmed life, and
while again and again comrades were shot down beside him, he went through the entire struggle

On January 1, 1866, less than a year after he left the army, he went West to Salt Lake City,
but soon returned to Colorado, and for about nineteen years was in that state. For five years
his home was at Georgetown, and after that he was in the San Luis Valley of Southwestern
Colorado. He followed mining for five years and for four years was a rancher. When he left
Colorado in 1885 Mr. ALLEN went to Missouri, and for 1 ½ years followed farming in Cass
County, that state. From there he removed to Birmingham, Alabama, and thence to Cartersville,
Georgia, where he spent five years in mining.

Mr. ALLEN has been a resident of Florida for about thirty years. His first location was
west of Gainesville, in a phosphate mining district. After about five years he started a
business of drilling water wells, and developed a service and facilities that brought him
numerous contracts and business extending over Georgia, Alabama and Florida, though his
special territory was in this state. Mr. ALLEN has been a resident of Lakeland about twenty
years, and in 1918 he sold his well drilling business and since then has given his attention
to his private affairs. He has served as justice of the peace and since January, 1922, has
been city judge.

During his mining experience Mr. ALLEN had the distinction of being the first man to discover
Bauxite in the United States. Bauxite is the mineral containing aluminum in the most abundant
form, and is the chief source of manufacture of that wonderful metal. Judge ALLEN is a
democrat in politics. He owns a substantial home at 107 West Pine Street at Lakeland.

In 1904 he married ADA F. SMAILES, of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. They have two children,
JAMES WALTER, born in 1905, and BENNETT YOUNG, born in 1914.

Pesented by Nancy Rayburn

Return to Archives              Polk Archives

This page created August 24, 2010
 © 2010 Fran Smith