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Henry Justin Allen

Gov. Henry Justin Allen

  • January 13, 1919 - January 8, 1923
  • Republican
  • September 11, 1868
  • January 17, 1950
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washburn College, Baker University
  • Married Elsie Jane Nuzman; four children
  • NGA Chair
  • Senator


HENRY J. ALLEN, the twenty-first governor of Kansas, was born in Pittsfield, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1868. His education was attained at Washburn College and at Baker University. Allen left school before graduating, but discovered his career calling after working on the editorial staff of his college paper. He eventually worked his way up in the newspaper business, and became a successful publisher of several newspapers, one of which was the Wichita Daily Beacon. During the Spanish-American war, he served as a war correspondent, reporting on the Cuban invasion. He also served in France during World War I, as head of home communications for the American Red Cross. Allen entered politics in 1899, serving as secretary to Governor William E. Stanley, a position he held until 1901. He also chaired the 1912 Republican National Convention. Allen won the 1918 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was sworn into the governorship on January 13, 1919. He was reelected to a second term in 1920. During his tenure, changes were authorized in the requirements for motor car licenses, the state bank guaranty fund was improved, coal mining policies were sanctioned, new public programs were developed, and the issue of the Ku Klux Klan emerging in the state was dealt with. Allen did not seek reelection to a third term and left office on January 8, 1923. He later was appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate, a position he held from April 1, 1929 to November 30, 1930. He also served as director of publicity for the Republican National Committee in 1928 and 1932, and was an assistant to the president of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1931. Governor Henry J. Allen passed away on January 17, 1950, and was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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