A Newspaper account.....

October 4, 1895--The Breeze takes pleasure this week in presenting to its readers the "shadow" of one of the pioneer operators in the Allegany field, a wide awake hustling business man who has achieved success by hard knocks, and with all one of the best known and most highly respected residents of Southern Allegany--Riley Allen, of Allentown.

    Mr. Allen was born in the town of Wirt, (Allegany County,NY) November 18, 1845, and is therefore 50 years old.  He attended the district schools until he was old enough to work, and he has hustled ever since.  He was engaged in lumbering at Scio and later on at Bradford.  When the oil excitement swept over this section of Allegany county, he was one of the first in the field.  He was a warm friend and business partner of O. P. Taylor, the "Col. Drake" of the Allegany field.  He was interested in the old Richburg well which really opened the Allegany field on the morning of April 28, 1881.  Mr. Allen has experienced the ups and downs inseperably connected with oil field operations.  He is at present interested in 400 wells located in the Allegany field, and also has interests in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  He owns and operates seven farms and personally plans the work.  He has a dairy of 140 Ayshires and is one of the owners of the Allentown cheese factory.  He is a busy man, who uses his brains as well as his hands.

    Mr. Allen has a pleasant home, just below Allentown.  His family consists of five daughters and three sons.  Mrs. Allen is a talented woman who is at present district deputy of the order of  (Eastern Star; rest of the article is lost.)

(From Bolivar Breeze (Newspaper), Bolivar,NY - October 4, 1895)


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The pen of the historian can in no better manner be employed than in perpetuating for posterity some of the incidents connected with those who by their energy and self reliance, industry and perseverance have raised themselves from humble positions to affluence, and have demonstrated themselves as important factors in the business and social life of the com­munity.

One of these men is Riley Allen, of Allentown, the veteran oil pro­ducer, who is one of the leading men of southern Allegany. His extended acquaintance with oil and oil production in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere has caused him to be known to and by more people than any other resident of that section. He was born in Wirt, a son of Clinton Allen, Nov. 18, 1848. He attended the district schools only until he was old enough to work, and has since that time acquired a most valuable practical education, laboring faithfully and intelligently, and attaining by his own exertions a most enviable success. He has had a rough, rugged school, but it has produced valuable results.

He was early in life engaged in lumbering in Scio and in the forests of Pennsylvania. When the oil ex­citement arose in Allegany he was one of the first to join the ranks of its developers, and being a warm and intimate friend of O. P. Taylor, he formed in 1880 what proved to be a lasting, pleasant and remunerative partnership with him under firm name of Allen & Taylor. Their first producing well was at Sawyer's Station. This was soon followed by the first well at Allentown, which they drilled. They were also of the happy company which drilled the old Richburg well, which demonstrated the rich possibilities of this field on its completion on April 28, 1881. From that time on Mr. Allen has been a leading operator, and has experienced all of the " ups and downs" of life in the oil field. He is now interested in 400 wells located in the Allegany field, besides large holdings in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is probably the largest individual operator of this field.

He has demonstrated his practical ability in other kinds of business. He owns and operates seven farms and personally plans and supervises the work on them. He has a handsome dairy of 140 Ayrshires, and is an owner of the Allentown cheese factory. He laid out and plotted the village of Allentown, which bears his name, in 1881, and here his residence is pleasantly located.

His wife, formerly Miss Melvina Prince, is prominent in society circles and a leading officer and a district deputy in the Order of the Eastern Star. Five daughters and three sons constitute the family circle. In his business correspondence Mr. Allen has the able assistance of his daughter May, who is an expert business woman. Mr. Allen is a 32d Degree Free Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine and of the Order of Elks.

He is much interested in and liberal toward all objects he deems deserving of his aid, and the efficiency of the Allentown Union School is largely due to his personal efforts and liberality. He has been its popular trustee for many years.

Mr. Allen occupies a high position, and his success has been gained by honest and hard labor, keen and wide-awake business sagacity, well-directed effort and intelligent personal supervision of the details of his numerous fields of industry. He has many friends, who esteem him for his personal good qualities, his liberal, open-handed generosity and his freedom from ostentation.


(From: "Allegany County and Its People: A Centennial Memorial HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY,NY"
John S. Minard; W.A.Fergusson & Co., Alfred,NY, 1896)