Joseph Allen married Rebecca Gardner on March 4, 1869. She was born into a Richmond family that had been free before the Civil War. Their son and daughter both died young. The Allens moved westward and upward to a house at Ninth and Marshall streets. Near the Virginia State Capitol and city offices, he worked in nearly all the construction trades, with sources variously describing him as a plasterer, carpenter, bricklayer, and whitewasher. In the early 1880s he became a grocer, operating a store at 206 North Fourth Street. The family also moved to 1006 North Sixth Street, in the second precinct of Jackson Ward, Allen's residence for the rest of his life.
Allen was again working as a plasterer by the late 1880s and owned the house on Sixth Street free of mortgage. Rebecca Allen contributed to the family's income by taking in laundry. Joseph Allen last appeared in city directories in 1905. He probably died not long thereafter, but he left no will, and the passing of one of the city's pioneer black councilmen apparently went unnoticed by the Richmond press.
ca. 1836 - Joseph Allen is born in Richmond. It is not known whether he is born free or enslaved.
1852 - Joseph Allen is free and living on Fifteenth Street in Richmond.
March 4, 1869 - Joseph Allen and Rebecca Gardner marry in Richmond.
Early 1880s - Joseph Allen becomes a grocer, operating a store at 206 North Fourth Street in Richmond.
1882–1884 - Joseph Allen, a Republican, serves on the Richmond City Council, representing Jackson Ward.
After 1905 - Joseph Allen dies in Richmond.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Chesson, M. B., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Joseph Allen (ca. 1836–after 1905). (2016, April 7). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Allen_Joseph_ca_1836-after_1905.
- MLA Citation:
Chesson, Michael B. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Joseph Allen (ca. 1836–after 1905)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 7 Apr. 2016. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: March 9, 2016 | Last modified: April 7, 2016