Back to Back Issues Page
Allen Street Named for Whom?? Tombstone Tips Issue 45
December 06, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

December 2020 - Issue #45


~ ~ John B Allen

~ ~ November Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips

~ ~ Newsletter Subscribers Contest Update!


The best newsletter experience is with HTML email. With only text email you can't see photos, or easily click links. If you don't have HTML email - instead, you can read Tombstone Tips Newsletter as a webpage.

To do that:
Click Here - if this is a link

Or if not - copy & past this WHOLE URL:

into your address bar, then press ENTER

An Origin


#1 - Intro

~ ~ When you hear the name John B Allen, somehow it brings to mind something familiar! Yes - that's right. It's Allen Street. Is that who Allen St. in Tombstone AZ is named after?

~ ~ You're exactly correct in thinking that. So exactly who was he? And why was Allen Street, Tombstone Arizona named for this man?

~ ~ We'll take you through the essentials of his story. Which began in New England - born in Franklin County, Maine. Not many details are known, except John Brackett Allen was born Oct. 22, 1818. Into a farming family, with 5 siblings. He was in Boston for schooling.

One of the Allen Street Signs

#2 - Gold Rush: Westward Ho! To Merchant Land

~ ~ The California Gold Rush tempted him West.

~ ~ By the time he got to Arizona Territory, he was 39 years old. First to Yuma, moving on to Gila City's gold rush. Then 1 year later in Tucson.

~ ~ He'd tired of endless gold searches. Instead of pie-in-the-sky dreams, he began baking pies! Tucsonans spread the word. His apple pies became the local rage. They started calling him "Pie Allen."

~ ~ With his profits, he opened his 1st general store. Then more stores, & branching into other ventures. Farming, ranching, building, bee-keeping. Alleged by some to have made the very 1st AZ Territory homestead claim.

From Tucson's Arizona Citizen - Tue., April 13, 1880 - Pg. 2

#3 - Political Career

~ ~ With all his business contacts, it seemed a natural that John Allen got into politics. He sent firearms to Mexican anti-royalists. Promoted moving Territorial capital from Prescott (not popular there!) to Tucson. Capital successfully went to Tucson in 1867.

~ ~ Allen began holding office. 1st as School District Superintendent on Nov. 18, 1867. Next month appointed Territorial Treasurer, did an excellent job. Deficit eliminated!

~ ~ Next appointment: Territorial Adjunct General. Sometimes called him "General Pie." Appointed mayor of Tucson April 15, 1876; elected next term.

~ ~ At this time, I didn't take the time to inquire for permission to use the one photo of him. But if you'd like to see his portrait, you can click over to see Pie Allen .

#4 - Allen of Tombstone Arizona

~ ~ Although Pie Allen was a well-known Tucson figure, he still managed to live in at least 8 other So. Arizona towns + Tombstone AZ. When he heard of Tombstone's silver discovery, he headed that way. Which opportunity? To Millville, silver ore milling site's 1st town. On May 26, 1879 he's their 1st Postmaster. The town of Charleston overtakes them & Millville ends up a ghost-town.

From Tucson's Arizona Daily Star - Wed., July 12, 1882 - Pg. 4
Allen: Of Many Places, Including Tombstone AZ

~ ~ So he resettled in Tombstone Mining District's 1st settlement in 1879. In Watervale he set up a store, sold it when Tombstone townsite was setting up. He moved to Gird Camp: Upper Town (still referred to as uptown by many locals today). And opened the 1st town business: store & boardinghouse in a wood-framed tent.

Upper Town, Tombstone, AT

Locating Gird Camp - Allen's 1st Business

Tombstone 1880's Mine Map
Superimposed Over Tombstone's Originally Surveyed City Streets

Red Arrow points to Westside Mine - Gird Camp
White Circle Shows Allen Street
4-point Star = corner Toughnut & 6th St. Today opposite large parking area,
Go There Now - Look South, up the hill & imagine 1879: Gird Camp!

~ ~ A deal was made for a townsite survey, including Upper Town & nearby Goose Flats. The claim was filed & recorded in April 1879. The business street in town was named Allen St., since John B. Allen was the 1st tradesman in town. The main thoroughfare through town was Fremont St., as it wasn't blocked by a gulch.

~ ~ Pie Allen got in on local politics by promoting town incorporation. Pima County granted their petition on Nov. 1, 1879 - election planned soon. Allen ditched his original Gird Camp operation.

Yuma's Arizona Sentinel - Sat., Jan. 10, 1880 - Pg. 2

He Advertised his Store to Travelers

~ ~ Allen began a store, stable & blacksmith shop. Located at the Southwest corner of 4th & Allen St. It struggled & he sold out to Philip W. Smith. It became the Pioneer Store, & within was Tombstone's 1st bank.

After Allen Sold His Store
It Became the Pioneer & Pima County Bank

Site Today of John B Allen's Store - Visitor Center

~ ~ While living in Tombstone, at age 63, he married teen-aged Lola Tapia. Her mother gave permission, only if she lived in a convent! Still, she had a child, named Molly Mae Allen, born in 1882. But before that, John accused her of adultery, & they mutually filed for divorce. As soon as granted, she married her lover.

~ ~ Meanwhile, John B. Allen was also in Bisbee, but sold out his partnership there by Spring 1881. He dabbled in many ventures, trying to build up his finances. Went back into some mining, bought & sold land. In the end he didn't have much.

From Arizona Citizen - Sun., May 1, 1881 - Pg. 4

#5 - Unusual Burial for A Historic Figure

~ ~ When John B. Allen reached 81 years of age, he knew he was dying from cancer, not long to go. To honor him, Tucson locals arranged a testimonial dinner April 1899. Zeckendorf & Co. donated the presentation of a gravesite tombstone for him. William Z. was "a flamboyant merchant" according to the Jewish Museum of the American West. Likely knew Allen via both business & working in the legislature.

~ ~ Etched in the stone: John B. Allen - Born 1818 - Died 1899 - Territorial Treasurer six years - Mayor of Tucson two terms - A man without an enemy

~ ~ Allen seemed pleased, & accepted graciously. On June 13, 1899 he was gone. Buried in the Presidio's 1875's Court Street Cemetery, among likely nearly 5,000 others there.

~ ~ Tucson expansion encroached onto cemetery land. Decision made to relocate graves, but apparently only headstones were moved. Historians believe remains were left, reasons unclear. Records not found.

Houses & Businesses Now Cover the Old Cemetery

~ ~ For an obscure reason, John B. Allen's headstone was moved to the charity section of the Pima County Cemetery, entry on Fairview Ave., Tucson. Yes, his wealth had dwindled at his death. Sadly, his marker doesn't show the honor of the distinctive positions he held in Arizona Territory, or even in Tucson. It's said the stone is partially buried, only his name & born/death dates visible. One day we'll get there to verify.

#6 - Pie Allen Historic District

~ ~ When living in Tucson, John B. Allen resided in a home on South 5th Ave. Those surroundings mark a historic district that now honor him. Tucson did, eventually therefore, honor his memory.

Historic Neighborhood Boundary Marker - As We Exited

~ ~ The Pie Allen neighborhood was named for John Brackett Allen. Its primary Southwest boundary begins at the corner of Euclid Ave. & W. 6th St. Even though it's named for him, we wonder how many people in the area even know who he was!

Some Neighborhood Homes Honor The History

~ ~ Historical places & events create curiosity for facts about people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What's the true story? Can we discover the authentic history?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, (sigh - eventually in the future!) seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - & how to credit you.)



~ ~ 1ST - Thanksgiving

~ ~ As we'd mentioned, Ringo's did cancel their wonderful Thanksgiving potluck feast this year. Due to COVID concerns. But Doc Holliday's stayed open on Thanksgiving from 10am to 6pm. They announced that on Facebook with a photo of Doc saying "I'm Your Cranberry!" After their Happy Thanksgiving Greetings.

~ ~ 2ND - 2021 Tombstone Subscriber's Contest

~ ~ We had a good response to our contest, with a number of entries. And a few response greetings, too! Thank you all. Winners will be announced in January.

~ ~ A reminder, a few more days to enter - if you'd like to do so. (Deadline: Dec. 10.)You just have to reply to our entry newsletters, that came out twice in mid November. Each time, give us up to 3 suggestions for newsletter topics - related to what we are all about here at Tombstone Travel Tips!


~ ~ Beginning in the year of 2021, we'll be making one change in our Tombstone Tips E-Newsletter. Please read on!

~ ~ Because of upcoming time constraints for us, we're going to go to a Bi-Monthly format. Looking up that word (bi-monthly), the 1st meaning is: every other month. Alternating months. That's the meaning we're taking here. We don't want to sacrifice our research quality, because of the time we put into it. So we just have to do this, because our time is coming under further demands. We appreciate all our subscribers, & feel you all like the quality & thoroughness we try to put into our newsletter. Without making it overwhelmingly long.

~ ~ So - Our publishing format beginning 2021 will be a double month newsletter every other month: JANUARY/FEBRUARY, MARCH/APRIL, MAY/JUNE, JULY/AUGUST, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER.

~ ~ Instead of coming out during the 1st week of the month. It will come out the second Thursday of the first named month.

~ ~ For example, expect Tombstone Tips to arrive: January 14, 2021; March 11, 2021; May 13, 2021; Etc.

~ ~ We hope you'll continue to enjoy each issue. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reply to this newsletter to ask.


~ ~ Historic Vogan's Alley On its Way!?

~ ~ ~ Heard they hired a manager. Someone reliably good, from what we know of her! Jennifer, who'd been behind the bar at the Oriental. They're calling themselves Vogan's Alley Bistro. Fun, food & spirits. Even a small bowling "alley" as the historic Vogan's had. A tentative last summer opening was scheduled, but still waiting. Guess sometime in 2021?

Photo Credit: Thanks Tombstone Bob!

~ ~ Research Trip to Historic Southeastern AZ

~ ~ ~ We recently took a trip to Portal on the East side of the Chiricahua Mountains. Many historical events in the area to research. We focused on the ghost town of Paradise, & the Skeleton Canyon area. For Geronimo's arrest & Old Man Clanton's death.

~ ~ ~ Stayed at Cave Creek Ranch , rented the beautiful Woodland Cottage. Highly recommend this place. Beautiful area. The cottage had everything we needed, very comfortable. Spoke to the owner who is also a local historian. He was very helpful with directing to areas for research, for future newsletter tips & website additions.

Woodland Cottage at Cave Creek Ranch

~ ~ ~ Unfortunately we didn't accomplish as much as we'd hoped. One car tire went flat. Our spare was one of those awful donuts. We had to drive on that all the way to Sierra Vista! Not fun.

Bill's Doin' a Little Cabin Relaxin'!

~ ~ Do You Do A Bit of Traveling, Too?

~ ~ ~ When we travel we often use a travel credit card to get the benefits they offer. There is a wide variety of them, with different types of "rewards." Our business credit card even offers travel points, which is handy - as we use the points to help pay for some business travel expenses.

~ ~ ~ If you've thought of using a credit card with these types of travel points rewards, this U.S. News Travel CC Article about the Pros & Cons of these types of cards may help. U.S. News & World Report has really analyzed a lot of info there.

~ ~ Tombstone 2021 Calendars

~ ~ ~ See all the 2021 Calendar details on our website. You can choose among three different styles.


~ ~ AZ COVID-19 - Cochise County & Tombstone AZ

~ ~ ~ Arizona COVID-19 case trends continue worsening.

~ ~ ~ As of Dec. 4, in Cochise County, there've been 4106 total cases. On this date the county says 1805 are active.

~ ~ ~ Tombstone zip-code map of the same date confirms there have been 20 total cases - meaning 7 new cases over the past month. 3 cases have been active within the past 2 weeks. We're aware of 1 death within these Tombstone AZ totals.

~ ~ ~ Please remember that COVID is a respiratory (airborne) disease. Once contracted, though, may affect many body systems & can have long-lasting effects.

So Please Stay Safe! Keep doing what works is a primary key.
Most effective is wearing a mask & social distancing.


What's going on this month or next month - check out our Events Page:
What's Up Next?

To keep up with what's happening at Tombstone Travel Tips - the latest update on the website - be sure to check in on our blog page:
Click For the Latest

Don't forget to connect with us/follow us or like us on Facebook -
Follow Us!

We always thank you so much for subscribing - and hope you enjoy our newsletter! Please let us know if you have any suggestions - or anything specific you would like to see included. We'll definitely see about that, & put it on our list of possibilities for the future. Reply here, or message us on our About Us page contact form.

Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
About Us!

P.S. Remember, if you've arrived here, but aren't getting our Tombstone Tips Ezine...

We hope you've enjoyed reading the Tombstone Insider Information we've provided you here!

You don't have to miss out on becoming one of us. You, too, can get our monthly, exclusive updates. All you have to do is fill out our simple form. Then you'll also be on our list to get our monthly newsletter of Tombstone info - called Tombstone Tips.

To get to the form, click the link here: Newsletter Order Page

Back to Back Issues Page