William F. Allen (Delaware politician)
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William Franklin "Lovebird" Allen (January 19, 1883 – June 14, 1946) was an American businessman and politician. He was a Democratic member of the Delaware General Assembly and the United States House of Representatives.
William F. Allen
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Delaware's At-large district
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1939
|Preceded by||J. George Stewart|
|Succeeded by||George S. Williams|
|Member of the Delaware Senate|
|Born||January 19, 1883|
|Died||June 14, 1946 (aged 63)|
|Spouse(s)||Addie M. Davis|
Early life and familyEdit
Allen was born in Bridgeville, Delaware, son of William Franklin (Frank) Allen and Mollie (Smith) Allen. He moved to Seaford, Sussex County, Delaware with his family in 1889, and then to Laurel, Delaware in 1903. He married Addie M. Davis on April 16, 1905 and they had three children, Robert, Franklin, and Doris. They belonged to the Methodist Church.
After completing school in 1902, Allen worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as an agent, telegrapher, and train dispatcher. In 1922, he returned to Seaford, Delaware, began a real estate business, and also formed a business buying and selling fruit and produce along the Delmarva Peninsula. In 1927, Allen diversified his businesses, and founded the Allen Petroleum Corporation and the Allen Package Company.
Allen was a public school commissioner in Seaford from 1920 until 1924, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920.
Allen was elected to the State Senate in 1924. He served in the Senate from 1925 to 1929, serving as President pro tempore in 1927
A strong supporter of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Allen was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1936, defeating incumbent Republican U.S. Representative J. George Stewart. Allen lost his bid for a second term in 1938 to Republican George S. Williams, a businessman from Millsboro, Delaware. During his term, Allen was a member of the Democratic majority in the 75th Congress and served from January 3, 1937 until January 3, 1939, during the second administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Subsequently, he resumed his work in the oil and gasoline distribution business. In 1940, he challenged both major parties and ran for the U.S. Senate as an Independent "Liberal Democrat," but received only a small number of votes.
Allen died at Lewes and is interred at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Seaford, Delaware.
Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly take office the second Tuesday of January. The State Senate has a four-year term. U.S. Representatives take office January 3 and have a two-year term.
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|State Senator||Legislature||Dover||January 13, 1925||January 8, 1929|
|U.S. Representative||Legislature||Washington||January 3, 1937||January 3, 1939|
|United States Congressional service|
|1937–1939||75th||U.S. House||Democratic||Franklin D. Roosevelt||at-large|
|1936||U.S. Representative||William F. Allen||Democratic||65,485||52%||J. George Stewart||Republican||55,664||44%|
|1938||U.S. Representative||William F. Allen||Democratic||46,989||43%||George S. Williams||Republican||60,661||56%|
- Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate.
Places with more informationEdit
- Delaware Historical Society; website; 505 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801; (302) 655-7161
- University of Delaware; Library website; 181 South College Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19717; (302) 831-2965
|U.S. House of Representatives|
J. George Stewart
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district
George S. Williams