Senator William Sylvester Allen View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/6/1925
Birth Place: Hillsboro, IA
Birth County: Henry
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 33 (1909) - 34 (1911)
House: 25 (1894) - 26 (1896)
Home County: Van Buren
William Sylvester Allen
Jefferson County


MR. PRESIDENT: Your committee named to draft suitable resolutions commemorating the life, character and public service of the late William S. Allen present the following report:

William S. Allen was the son of Dr. Joseph Boyd Allen and Dorothy Hammond Allen. He was born August 26, 1857, in Hillsboro, Henry county, Iowa. He died December 6, 1926, in Fairfield, Jefferson county, Iowa. His life exhibits the political success which may be attained by earnest effort and steadfast purpose in a country without caste and aristocratic privilege.

In the public school of Hillsboro he began his primary and basic education. In Denmark Academy, one of the first institutions in Iowa to offer a cultural training, he pursued advanced studies. He next entered the University of Iowa from the law department of which he was graduated in 1877 at the age of twenty.

Prepared for his profession and admitted to the bar, he located in Birmingham and engaged in the practice of law. Here in time he was chosen to serve the public as a member of the school board of which he was made president, and as mayor. He was next called to represent Van Buren county as a member of the House in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth General Assemblies. In his legislative work he won so enviable a reputation that in the extra session of the Twenty-sixth General Assembly, which produced the Code of 1897, he was made chairman of the Second Division of the Code Revision Committee.

After an intermission lasting a decade, he was sent in 1908 to the State Senate from the Second Senatorial District composed of Jefferson and Van Buren counties, serving in the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth General Assemblies.

With an eye to professional and political advancement he removed in 1909 to Fairfield. On the expiration of his Senatorial term he decided the time opportune to seek a higher position in State affairs and became a candidate for the office of Secretary of State. The correctness of his judgment was confirmed in 1912 by popular approval. In 1914, 1916 and 1918 he was successively re-elected. He resigned from this important office July 1, 1919, and returned to Fairfield where the remaining years of his life were spent in the active practice of his profession.

As a public servant William S. Allen was affable, as easy of approach by the humblest person as by the most important, and always watchful of the general welfare. As a lawyer he devoted to his client’s cause all his ability and learning, but was ever courteous to court and counsel. As a citizen, he was of the fine type that recognizes and takes duty seriously. He was justly proud of an ancestry that had contributed to the foundations of this great state and he sought to build on that foundation a structure that would endure.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Forty-second General Assembly of Iowa, That in the death of William S. Allen the state and the community where he lived have suffered the loss of an excellent and high-minded citizen, and be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be spread upon the journal of the Senate, and that the secretary of the Senate be directed to send an engrossed copy thereof to his family.





The resolution was unanimously adopted by a rising vote.