The success of any man is not the measure of material wealth that he may be able through his genius to accumulate, but by the actual good he may perform for himself and for others. It has been wisely stated that "he who causes two blades of grass to grow where one grew before is a benefactor to mankind.'' The man who is loyal to his family, to his community and to his country always makes a model citizen. Some men are gifted in one way and others in another, but the man who can adapt himself to his environments and do well his part in life's conflict, best serves the purpose for which he was created. Such a man is Frank M. Allen, supervising editor of the historical portion of this volume. Hence the following notice concerning Mr. Allen, the present connty superintendent of schools in Fayette county, whose career as a teacher, a soldier, a county official and most exemplary American citizen, will be briefly referred to.
Frank M. Allen was born June 30, 1846, in Jefferson township. Fayette county, Ohio, the son of Armstrong and Jane (McHenry) Allen, natives of Ohio and Kentucky, respectively. Armstrong Allen was born in Madison county, Ohio, December 25, 1808, and was reared to manhood in his native county. His wife, Jane McHenry, was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1809, the daughter of John McHenry, a native of Scotland, who came to this country in young manhood and became the American ancestor of this McHenry family. John and Mary McHenry were the parents of five children, Elizabeth, Isaac, Green, John and Jane. The last named became the wife of Armstrong Allen. Her brothers, Green and John, were soldiers in the War of 1812.
Armstrong and Jane (McHenry) Allen were blessed with children as follows: Elizabeth, Rachel, John C, Mary, William, David, Isaac and Frank M. John C. Allen, of this family, was captain of Company K, Forty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil War. In this same regiment also loyally served three other sons of Armstrong Allen and wife, viz: William, Isaac and David, while the youngest child, Frank M. Allen, who was too young to enlist at the beginning of the war, managed to enier the army in February, 1864, and served as an efficient soldier until his final muster out on August 6, 1865, having participated, under Gen. Phil Sheridan, in Virginia during the last year of that memorable conflict. Thus it will be seen that all of Armstrong Allen's five sons were soldiers from their native state—a splendid record of loyalty indeed. The father, Armstrong Allen, died February 19, 1847, when Frank M. was less than one year of age. The good mother survived until August 12, 1895.
Frank M. Allen attended the common schools of Jefferson township, then went to the graded schools of Jeffersonville, after which he entered the Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, from which he subsequently graduated. He then began teaching in the district schools of Fayette county, continuing many years with marked success. He was promoted as an instructor to the principalship of the Bloomingburg schools. In 1879 he was elected principal of the high school at Washington C. H. The last named position he left for the purpose of taking the superintendency of the city schools of Muncie, Indiana, where he gave universal satisfaction, and resigned to accept a more lucrative position as superintendent of the North Denver schools, in Colorado. His latest school teaching was at Jefferson, Ohio, where he taught a few years before being elected clerk of Fayette county.
Rich with the experience of years in the school rooms of this and other states, it is no wonder that he was elected, under the new school law of Ohio, in July, 1914, as county superintendent of schools. In this he is proving the same methodical, painstaking educator that has characterized him so long as an instructor.
Politically. Mr. Allen has long been identified with the Republican party and, because of his ability, he has been honored on numerous occasions and was elected to the office of county clerk, beginning in 1887 and serving faithfully and well for three terms. He has also served as a member of the Washington C. H. school board and as county examiner. For many years he was on the county board of equalization, and was appointed by Governor Cox as a trustee of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors' Orphans' Home at Xenia, which position he still holds. He is also a member of the board of examiners of the state, being appointed by the supreme court. In this role he serves as chairman of the committee on general learning. He has served as commander of Hays Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Washington C. H. and is much interested in this post. He has served as senior vice-commander of the state. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, having joined this fraternity in 1876, at Bloomingburg, Ohio. He is also identified with the Knights of Pythias order at Washington C. H. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as are the members of liis household.
Unlike the man who has had fortunes showered upon him from his youth, what he possesses in way of prosperity has come by the industry and toil so well known to every citizen of Fayette county. Among his holdings may be mentioned his two-hundred-acre farm on Mallow pike, three and a half miles to the west of Washington C. H. To this he gives personal supervision, and delights in seeing it produce its annual crops and also in making improvements from year to year as needed. The family home in Washington C. H. is situated on East Temple street, where genial hospitality is duly appreciated by a legion of friends.
Of Mr. Allen's domestic life it may be stated that he married Sarah, daughter of Harvey and Mary (Brooks) Sanderson, on June 18, 1868. Mrs. Allen was born near Milledgeville, Ohio, in Jasper township, this county. Her father was born in the same township, a son of Harvev and Ruth (Figgins) Sanderson. Harvey Sanderson, Jr.. one of four in Ins parents' family, was a prosperous farmer in Jefferson township; was a zealous church worker; was active in political work and one of the best known citizens here in his day and generation.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank M. Allen are the parents of three children, Aurelius (Rell G.), Claude and Ralph.
Aurelius Allen, the eldest son, graduated from the high school at Washington C. H., after which he entered the Cincinnati Law School, from which he graduated in 1896. He has been in active practice at the county seat for a number of years. He served as deputy clerk in the Fayette county court; was mayor of the city three terms and is now probate judge of Fayette county. He is ranking major in the Ohio National Guard.
Claude, the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Allen, graduated from the local high school, and entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, from which she graduated. She is now the wife of Guy B. Saxton and their daughter, Jane Saxton, is attending the Ohio Wesleyan College, at Delaware. Ohio.
Ralph, the third and youngest of the family of Frank M. Allen and wife, is deceased.
From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)