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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
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1939
Preceded byJ. George Stewart
Succeeded byGeorge S. Williams
Member of the Delaware Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1883-01-19)January 19, 1883
Bridgeville, Delaware
DiedJune 14, 1946(1946-06-14) (aged 63)
Lewes, Delaware
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Addie M. Davis
ResidenceSeaford, Delaware

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.

Political careerEdit

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[1]

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.[2]

Electoral historyEdit

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.

Public Offices
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
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1937–1939 75th U.S. House Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
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%

Further readingEdit

  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate.


  1. ^ "Allen, William Franklin, (1883 - 1946)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "William Franklin". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 12, 2012.

External linksEdit

Places with more informationEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. George Stewart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
George S. Williams