Who was John B. Allen, for whom Allen Street in Tombstone is named?
Gary Ledoux a.k.a. “Mayor Clum”
Born in Maine and schooled in Boston, Massachusetts, John B. Allen came to California with the 49ers to seek his fortune. During the “backwash of the gold rush” in the 1850s, he went to Yuma, Arizona, then Gila City and finally Tucson in 1858. Upon his arrival, he began baking dried apple pies to sell to soldiers. Soon, he was running a mercantile store.
During the French occupation of Mexico, Allen shipped weapons to anti-royalty forces fighting Emperor Maximillian. He served in the territorial legislature in 1867-73 and was instrumental in having the capital moved from Prescott to the Old Pueblo. In 1876, he was elected Tucson’s mayor. He was also active in Apache-fighting militias, where he acquired the honorary title “General.”
During the years that Tombstone flourished, Allen operated a store on the street named for him. His last years were spent in Florence, where he died in 1899.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian.
His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.
If you have a question, write:
Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008,
Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at