The Railroad was in the Allens’ Blood

It’s interesting to note that all but one of the sons of Robert Batey Allen ended up working for the railroad at some time in their careers.

The oldest son, William Jackson Allen, was born in 1850 and died in 1893. He was a railroad engineer and his monument in the Allen Family plot in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery near Marion, Virginia, bears the symbol of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

James Thomas Allen (1852-1920) relocated to Radford, Virginia, and at the time of his death he was referred to as the “wreck master” at the rail yard in Radford.

Michael Albert Allen (1854-1944), according to his granddaughter, was a railroad carpenter in Radford.

Samuel Floyd Allen (1862-1939) lived in Erwin, Tennessee, and was also a railroad engineer.

The only remaining son of Robert Batey Allen, Ferd Johnston Allen (1864-1945), remained on the family homeplace near Marion, Virginia, and cared for his aging parents. He was a farmer and was active in the local Methodist Church. He was always close to the railroad, nonetheless, as the main rail line through Smyth County was located about sixty feet from his front door.

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