Early Pioneer families often migrated together to establish new settlements. These Early Settlements were often called by the family name. Allentown was a settlement that was named after the Allen Family and was a town with a church, school, blacksmith shop, store, and cemetery. The Bureau of Land Management records indicate that James M. Allen bought 163.75 acres and James G. Allen bought 160.05 acres for cash on April 24, 1820 in Mobile County, which became Allentown. Allentown was located near the area of Wulff Road and Howells Ferry Road which is now known as Semmes.
Allentown was a settlement before Mobile County had road districts or a method to collect revenue. The Acts of the general Assembly of the State of Alabama on December 4, 1888 divided Mobile County into three revenue and road districts. The districts were further divided into Precincts. The Second District precincts were Citronelle (1), Mount Vernon (2), Creola (5), Mauvilla and Chunchula (6), Albritton (7), Carver’s (8),Steeley’s Store (20).
Allentown was in the Albritton precinct.
The Register Report lists James H. as being born on Nov. 1, 1811 in South Carolina. He was the first Presbyterian Methodist Minister in Alabama. He died on December 22, 1893 and is buried in Allentown Cemetery.
On May 20, 1862, James B. Allen, homesteaded 168.62 Acres: James H. Allen, 80.8 acres; Sarah M. Whiting, and James H. Allen, 161.19.
Allen’s born in Allentown
Early roads in Alabama were along Indian trails. One such trail used by the settlers and the Indians was close to Allentown Cemetery. The story has been passed down from generation to generation that the first person buried in Allentown Cemetery was an Indian that died on the trail. No one even knew his name.
The Indians and the settlers were friendly to one another, and once a year the Indians would use this trail to travel down to the sea to get salt. They would borrow iron pots from the settlers, boil the salt water and by the process of evaporation salt was left in the pots. When returning, the pots were returned to the settlers with a portion of salt for the use of the pots. Helen Waltman Caldwell, the great granddaughter of Benjamin Howell, said “the salt looked dirty but was good salt”. Today we know this salt as sea salt. Salt was a very important product needed by early settlers and the Indians and even sometimes used for money to trade with.
All that remains of the Allentown Settlement is the Allentown Cemetery. Many descendants of the Allen's are living in the area.
Preserving our History