The foundation of Allen, Texas
The area of what is now known as Allen was once home American Indian tribes including Caddo and Comanche. The first European or white settlers to the area arrived in the early 1840s.
Allen was established in 1870 (or 1872 in some sources) as a railroad stop for the Houston and Texas Railroad, connecting the railway with nearby farms. The town was named after an attorney general, state politician and early Texas railroad promoter Ebenezer Allen (who had died in 1863). The town’s post office opened and began its service six years later.
Like many cities in the US, Allen experienced a lift in its economy and an opportunity to the outside world through the construction of railroad that passed through the town. The railroad enabled farmers to transport crops for sale. Once a cattle-based agricultural hub, Allen expanded its agricultural scope and branched out to farming.
Texas’ first train robbery
The peaceful town of Allen was disrupted on February 22, 1878 when a gang of robbers, led by notorious outlaw named Sam Bass, committed what historians believe to have been the first train robbery in Texas, occurring at the Allen train station.
Allen’s population history
By 1884 Allen’s population was numbered at 350. It had a school, a chair factory, a flour mill and three churches. In 1908 the Texas Traction Company built an interurban electric line from Denison to Dallas.
By 1915 Allen’s population grew to 550. But by the the 1940s the town’s population dwindled to 400. The Texas Traction Company ceased its railroad operations in 1948.
However, by postwar years Allen’s population had begun to increase at a tremendous rate, especially after its incorporation in 1953. Between 1970 and 1980 the city’s population steadily increased from 1,940 to 8,314. Allen had greatly benefited from the booming economy of nearby cities Dallas and Plano, and this was a large factor in the city’s continually swelling population. When the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was opened in the 1970s, more people come in droves to settle in Allen, causing further population increase.
In the new millennium, Allen’s population increased to an estimated 43,554. By 2007, the population nearly doubled. In 2010 US Census, Allen’s population stands at 84,246, and in 2013 it was estimated at 92,025.
Today, Allen has gone quite far from its olden days — a picture of progress and prosperity. It has many schools, hospitals and clinics, as well as business establishments. One of the most distinguished latest buildings in the the city is the Allen Event Center. A multi-purpose arena, it was completed in November 2009 and seats 7,500 people. It is home to the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans, the pro indoor football team the Texas Revolution, and the pro indoor soccer team the Dallas Sidekicks.