Allen H. Rowan was born on Oct. 27, 1852 at Maple Summit, Fayette County, PA, the son of James and Catherine (Harbaugh) Rowan.
On May 19, 1878, at the age of 25, Allen married 20-year-old Joanna "Anna" Linderman (1858- ? ). They were longtime farmers.
Sadness struck the family on May 29, 1903 when daughter Goldie died of "membranous croup." At age six, she was said to have been "a very bright and intelligent child and will be greatly missed by her schoolmates."
The Rowans lived on the farm at Maple Summit where Allen had been born, and where he spent his entire 76-year life. They are shown there in the 1880 census, living next door to Allen's aged parents.
The Uniontown Morning Herald reported that Allen was "a consistent and active member of the Church of God at Maple Summit for at least sixty years and had served his church in every official capacity." He and his cousin Lawson Minerd helped construct the church in 1893, on land donated by their cousin Robert Bacom Harbaugh Sr.
In about 1908, Annie was suffering from some sort of illness, and Allen suggested they move to Utah to join her brother, Solomon S. Linderman, who had moved west in 1877, some 30 years earlier. In a letter, Solomon advised them that “This is a good climate and wages are good and if Sister Annie and Allen wish to come west they better make up their mind and come to Colorado and come out with my folks. I expect to have them come out here about April 15th or May 7th… [You] can get a steady Job in town at $2.00 & $2.50 for 8 hours.” Yet they never made the move, and stayed in Pennsylvania.
In a letter to son Marshall dated 1912, Allen wrote: "I was out every day hauling coal and lumber. I have made every hour for 3 weeks that is 18 days in succession.... I have hauled about 700 br. coal up to this time."
On May 19, 1928, the Rowans celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
But just six months later, on Nov. 24, 1928, afflicted with valvular heart disease, Allen died at home, at age 75, on Nov. 24, 1928. A newspaper obituary said: "He had been in somewhat poor health for some time, but shortly before his death had been in apparently good health. He hauled a load of coal for the family use on the day preceding his death." Allen and Annie are buried at the Peoples United Church of Maple Summit.
Son Marshall served as operator of the B&O Railroad office at Bidwell, Somerset County, PA for many years. He is seen here in his office.
Son William settled at Braznell (Grindstone), Fayette County.
Marshall's grandson, Wilbert Don Jordan, of Fairchance, PA, is a well-known Fayette County historian. Wilbert's extensive historical collections of railroad, school and other photographic and archival materials are often displayed at county events, including "Celebrate the Centuries" at Smithfield in June 2000.
Copyright © 2000, 2012 Mark A. Miner