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(1872 - 1942)

Mrs. Mahala Orange Allen was the daughter of Frank and Martha McGee Orange and the granddaughter of Yebby
Orange, an early Smith County Settler near the present day Gordonsville Exit of I-40. “Miss Mahala,” as she was
affectionately called, was married to James Burton Allen July 4, 1892. Burton was the son of Joseph Allen and the
grandson of Daniel Allen. They lived in the Bluff Creek area between Carthage and Gordonsville.
 Children born to this couple were: Willie Richard Allen (1894 - 1959); Clarence Allen (died as a small child); Luther
 Stanton Allen (1897); Mattie Orange Allen (1900); Julia Mai Allen (1903 - 1968); Ellis Howard “Jack” Allen 
(1906 -1981).
Burton passed away with typhoid in 1908 leaving “Miss Mahala” a widow before she was 36 years of age, with five
children, the oldest being just past thirteen (13). The small farm was not paid in full. There was no welfare in those
days, but Mrs. Allen managed with the efforts of her children. Two of her brothers in California sent money to finish
paying out the farm. The two older boys began farming, but Willie married young and Luther took over responsibility of
the family. He later went to California to work on the ranch of Smith Countians, sending money back to his mother and
the other children. The mother and daughters raised chickens and geese. They sold their poultry, feathers, picked
berries, and their vegetables.
Once, before Willie married, the mother heard what she thought was varmint in the chickens, and she got the gun for
Willie to shoot and scare away the animals in the chickens. Someone shot back, which indicated the roost was being
“Miss Mahala” was loved by all her children. Luther and “Jack” liver with their mother as long as she lived and cared for
her. Each year on the Sunday nearest the 14th of October the children would have a gathering to celebrate the
mother’s birthday. The picture accompanying this sketch is of the family gathered at the home of Mattie and her
husband Ed Garland (E.G.) Thompson, located on Hwy. 70 East in South Carthage. The year was 1933 and “Miss
Mahala’s” sixty-first birthday.

Ellis “Jack” Allen did not like to have his picture taken, therefore he is not in the picture. (See article titled under Ellis
“Jack Allen for more information.) The article will describe the friendliness and simplicity of all members of 
“Miss Mahala’s family.
Family members included in the picture are: Mrs. Mahala Allen (in center front row with flowered dress), daughter Julia
(Mrs. Ben Allmon) and little granddaughter Mary Frances Allmon are to the left of Mrs. Allen. On the right of Mrs. Allen
 is Mattie (Mrs. Garland Thompson) and little grandson Edward Thompson. The three young boys in the second row are
Raymond “Honey” Allmon, James Douglas Allmon, and L.V. Thompson, grandsons of Mrs. Allen. Men in the third row
are Ben Allmon, Luther Allen, Garland Thompson, Willie Allen and wife Ethel Lynch Allen. Ethel’s mother, Mrs. Lou
Lynch, is seated at the right end of front row. Granddaughter Louise Allen Agnew and her husband Joseph Agnew are
standing in the fourth row on the ground. Granddaughters Oma Dale Thompson and Thelma Allen are standing on the
porch. Others in the picture are Uvaldah Thompson standing in fourth row to left and wife, Sally, seated in front of him,
his daughter Ila, and daughter Geraldine, are in the picture and they are the parents of Garland Thompson. Two of
their grandchildren, Hazel and Elizabeth Gibbs, are standing on the porch. Mr. Allen Carey "Uncle Babe" Winfree is
standing on the porch. Other visitors of the day were Estelle Burton and Reba Skelton.
                                                                                                                    By Mrs. Oma T. Webster