Walker Montecure Allen

1819 - 1899

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister



Rev. and Mrs. W. M. Allen Celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Their Marriage.

Stood we there in life's gay morning,
Vowing love till death did part;
Stand we now in thoughtful evening,
Hand to hand, and heart.

MARRIED.--ALLEN-HANDLY.--At 8 o'clock Thursday evening, Feb. 13, 1845, at the residence of the bride's uncle, Rev. Samuel Handly, by Rev. Minus B. Feemster, Rev. Walker Mountecure Allen and Miss Eliza Ann Handly, both of this, Pontotoc county, Mississippi.

The bride was dressed in a simple, white silk, trimmed in lace, no ornaments except a few natural flowers. The dress was made simply; a full, baby waist, full skirt and large, full sleeves, something like the empire of today except a little longer in the waist, and on her head she wore the essential head dress of that day, made of a little bunch of lace and ribbon.

It is not often, at best, that one has an opportunity of attending a golden wedding, hence the friends of Rev. and Mrs. W. M. Allen have eagerly awaited the arrival of Wednesday night, Feb. 13, upon which occasion they were to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their marriage.

The weather seemed against them, and a few hours before the appointed time for the guests to arrive it began snowing again, and continued late into the night, and while this kept many away, the large double parlors and halls were crowded with loving friends, to rejoice with and congratulate the happy couple upon their safe arrival at this advanced station along life's highway, and to wish for them many more years of usefulness and happiness here below, and finally a peaceful entrance into that harbor from which ships never sail, and where all is rest and love and perfect peace, and where "golden" crowns eternal await their coming.

Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Allen received at the front door and admitted the guests into the front hall, which was comfortably heated, and the bright lights and evergreen hangings were in marked contrast to the chilly and snow covered world without.

The guests were shown to dressing rooms upstairs, and after disposing of their wraps were ushered into the front parlor. After all the guests had arrived, and at 9:30, the ever familiar notes of Mendelssohn's wedding march, executed by Miss Minnie Elgin in her perfect style, stole softly in from the back parlor, and as the sliding doors were drawn aside, there, prettily grouped in a semi-circle, were three generations of Allens, the "bride and groom" forming the base and central figures. It was a beautiful picture, this aged couple surrounded by all their children and grandchildren (except one who is absent at school). No wonder they are such God-loving and God-serving people, for surely He has blessed them. And no wonder he has blessed them, for they have served him throughout their long and eventful lives, never once wavering in their devotion and obedience to His commands.

Mr. Allen was as erect and handsome as any of his sons, in a well-fitting Prince Albert suit. His bride of fifty years wore an elegant dress of soft black goods, trimmed in gold; full sleeves and bodice of golden silk. She was as modest and as blushing as any brand new bride.

After giving the guests a few moments in which to view the family tableau, Rev. W. B. Farr, pastor of the Cumberland church, said:

"That is an event of more than ordinary interest which marks the consummation of a half century of married life between one man and one woman; such an event, is the occasion of this delightful gathering.

"Just fifty years ago this evening, Rev. W. M. Allen and Miss Eliza Ann Handly stood before the marriage altar and took upon themselves the solemn vow of matrimony. Through all the intervening years between that time and this God has kindly led them on, until now their children and friends are gathered in this home to celebrate this pleasing event.

"We come this evening, father and mother Allen, to bring you congratulations:

"1. We congratulate you on the fact that, in the providence of God, you have been permitted to walk hand in hand, as husband and wife, down through fifty years of married life.

"2. We congratulate you that your power of mind and body have been so well preserved through all these years, and that you are yet in the enjoyment of so much mental and physical vigor.

"3. We congratulate you upon the remarkable fact that, although you have reached so ripe an age, you have never been called to mourn the loss of a child, but of the tenderest age, nor of a grand child; and that with the exception of one granddaughter, Miss Minnie Allen absent at school, your descendants are all present to enjoy the festivities of this unusual occasion.

"4. We congratulate you that your children had it in their hearts to mark, in this way, the half century mile-stone of your married life, and that so many of your friends and theirs are gathered here, with them to wish you bon voyage for your remaining years.

"We cannot reasonably wish that another fifty years may be added to your wedded life; but we do devoutly wish and pray that many years may yet be added tot he fifty already enjoyed, and that ultimately you may in the Sweet Beyond, as here, form an unbroken family to walk together the gold paved streets of the New Jerusalem and wear the golden crowns of gracious reward; and that we all, parents, and children and friends, may finally be gathered to the enjoyment of the regal glory of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Dr. Farr concluded his remarks with prayer, after which Mrs. Farr read the following poem, written by Rev. W. M. Allen, and dedicated to his loving wife and children:


When we were young and in our prime,
We ne'er had felt the wear of time;
We loved each other well and true,
Our joys were sweet, our pleasures new.

Gold had we none, our toils were great,
So on the Lord we could but wait,
And onward journey without fear,
His promise trusting every year.

We've never been without a friend,
On us God's blessings did descend;
Our needs supplied by His kind hand
Both love and praise always demand.

With children blessed, they always share
Our society and our care,
And cheer our hearts as on we tend
Toward the grave, life's final end.

Just fifty years ago tonight,
Each to other our love did plight.
That pledge old Time cannot erase
So long as God gives life and grace.

Yes, fifty years tonight all told,
Our wedding's now of shining gold;
And friends so dear to see the sight
Assembled are with us tonight.

And now, dear friends, we greet you all,
And thank you for this friendly call;
God grant that you may live as we
Your golden wedding-day to see.

And when life's tasks are all complete,
May you and we each other greet
In that bright mansion that's above,
Where all is peace and perfect love.

Congratulations then followed, after which the guests repaired to the dining room, where Rev. W. B. Allen invoked the blessings of God, and a sumptuous repast was then served from the table in the center of the room. Misses Ida May Wilson and Ella Keiley presiding, and assisted by Misses Victoria McAllister and Maggie Wilson, dispensed delicious chocolate and _____ the sweets and delicacies of _____.

The table was decorated with _____ and flowers. A pyramid of oranges decked the center, and gold streamers suspended from the chandeliers, down to the four corners of the table.

The parlors, halls and dressing rooms were also neatly decorated, yellow predominating.

After supper the remaining hours were pleasantly spent in conversation, with vocal and instrumental music interspersed, to the enjoyment of all present.

The bride's cake was cut, Rev. and Mrs. Allen cutting first. Miss Ida May Wilson cut the ring and W. W. Parker cut the dime.

The following guests were present

Mr. and Mrs Geo. W. Kretch, Longview.
Miss Vester Eckles, Longview.
Rev. W. B. Allen and family, Longview.
Mrs. Wilson, St. Louis.
Mrs. Volney Hall, Fort Worth.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Petty.
Miss Mary D. Gregg.
Col. H. F. Felton.
Rev. N. B. McGhee.
Mrs. A. B. Mitchell.
Mrs. O. J. Lewis.
Rev. W. B. Farr and wife.
Mr. and Mrs Ed Collins.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Whittington.
Mr.and Mrs. Paul G. Whaley.
Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Parker.
Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Arnold.
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Ray.
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Allen.
H. C. Jacquish and Mrs. Kennard, Longview.
Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Wilson.
Miss Anna Craig.
Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Craig.
Mrs. B. Tom Smith.
Mrs. W. M. Robertson and Miss Latacia Robertson.
Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Allen.
W. Y. Allen and Miss Flora Petty.
Miss Maggie Wilson.
Miss Archie Wilson.
Miss Victoria McAllister.
Jno. T. Mills.
Miss Julia McAllister and Will Keiley.
Miss Ruth Ella Hargrove.
Tom Cellum.
T. B. Owens.
Miss Sallie McAllister.
Miss Ella Keiley and Bert Seeber.
W. P. H. Allen.
Montie Allen and Miss Ida May Wilson.

In 1857 Rev. and Mrs. Allen moved to Texas, and settled at Daingerfield, where Mr. Allen had charge of the Daingerfield college. From there they moved to Center in 1872, and thence to Marshall in 1876. They have nine loving children, to wit: Rev. W. B. Allen, pastor of the Cumberland church at Longview, W. H. P. Allen (Booty & Allen), A. Jay Allen, Henry W. Allen (of Tyler), Misses Emma, Hattie, Jessie, and Annie Allen, and nine grand children, sons and daughters of Rev. W. B. Allen and H. W. Allen.

[Source: The Evening Messenger, February 1895]

As we go to press a postal card comes from Rev. Wm. B. Allen announcing the death of his venerable and much-loved father, Rev. W. M. Allen, of Longview, Texas. Our tenderest sympathies are extended to the bereaved family.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, May 25, 1899, page 665]


By His Son, Rev. Wm. B. Allen, A.M.

Walker Montecue Allen was born in Huntsville, Ala., January 18, 1819. His father, Walker Allen, was a native of Amherst County, Virginia. His mother was Mary Brown Seawell, of Sumner County, Tennessee. His father died in June, 1818. March 17, 1819, his mother died also. He with one small sister was taken by his grandparents, John Allen and wife, who lived in Sequatchie Valley, East Tennessee. His grandfather moved to Wilson County, five miles west of Lebanon, and finally died in Smith County August 10, 1829. The orphan boy then passed under the guardianship of his uncle, Dr. George T. Allen, who was indeed a frontiersman, moving to Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1834, and after one year's residence in Texas started out again, finally settling in Pontotoc County, Mississippi.

Up to this time the orphan boy had enjoyed no educational advantages, being able only to read and write. When about 16 years old his uncle sent him to Montgomery County, Tennessee, to board with his uncle, William Moyers, and go to school. His teacher was the Rev. John E. Bonds, then pastor of the McAdow congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Eight months in this school, then back to Mississippi, his next teacher being Rev. Collin Forbes. Three months under him and we have the sum total of his school life.

His first conviction of sin was under the preaching of Rev. W. S. Burney in the year 1840. The text used in the sermon was Ezekiel xxxiii. 11: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." In this moment of extreme conviction the Rev. James Duff approached him and urged that he go to the altar, which he did, and was finally happily converted on the 20th of September, 1840.

His grandparents were Baptists and gave his youth all the religious impulses it ever received. His uncle was skeptical at that time, and was so exasperated that he drove Walker away from his home when he became a Christian. His first covenant with God after conversion was that he would pray daily for this uncle until he was converted. The prayer was answered five years later.

Though he had been reared exclusively under the Baptist faith, the Cumberland Presbyterians had been his teachers and had led him to Christ; so after reading statements of the different creeds he finally settled upon the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as being his choice, and hence joined the church to which he gave his life's service.

He was at once impressed to preach. The first one to whom he made known this experience was the Rev. G. W. Murray, who advised him to converse with the presbytery. The next week thereafter he appeared before the Charity Hall Presbytery at Farmington, Miss., and was received under its care. After two years of trial he was licensed to preach at Pontotoc in October, 1844.

On the 13th day of February, 1845, he was married to Miss Eliza Ann Handley, with whom he lived more than fifty-four years, and who in the frailty of age still survives.

At the meeting of the presbytery in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, October, 1848, he was ordained to the whole work of the gospel ministry. He enjoyed no school privileges in his preparation for the ministry. His personal means were inadequate; the presbytery was not able to send him to school. He began traveling with other preachers, assisting them, and studying the course prescribed for ordination. He learned rapidly and soon became a fine English scholar. Then, of his own accord, he studies Greek, mathematics, philosophy, Hebrew and literature. It required a long time; but with text-book in his saddle-bags he studied as he went from appointment to appointment with a doggedness rarely excelled until at last he stood six feet high among the scholars of his day.

After ordination he became the pastor of a group of churches in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Here he remained until January, 1859, when he moved to Shelby County, Texas, and, after five months' residence here, he moved to DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, where he spent ten years preaching and teaching.

In the summer of 1870 he was elected president of Chapel Hill College, at Daingerfield, Texas--a school then under the auspices of Marshall Presbytery. This he finally accepted, moved and opened his association with this school January 9, 1871. Under the pressure and interference of the free-school laws of Texas, just then beginning to become effective and almost threatening ruin to all such schools, he resigned his trust in February, 1872.

In the summer of the same year he was elected superintendent of the public free schools of Center, Shelby County, Texas, accepted and moved in time to open up the fall term. Here he taught and preached to some churches until the summer of 1875 when he resigned, closed his school career and determined to spend the remainder of his life in the direct service of the church. He moved to Marshall, Texas, in January, 1876, and began canvassing for the Board of Publication. This he continued for about a year and resigned.

He built a comfortable home in Marshall. Most of his time was spent as pastor of country churches within reach. He was always dearly in love with his work. He never seemed to aspire to the greater posts of service. He was always eminently successful as a revivalist. Much of his latter time was spent in that work. Many who are now preachers were converted under his ministry. He was for a number of years stated clerk and treasurer of the Marshall Presbytery, of which he had been a member since 1860.

As a debater in the defense of the doctrines of the church he had but few equals. He was a strong writer and a frequent contributor to the periodical literature of the church. His book publications were: "New Views on Adoption," 24 pages; "Communion," 32 pages; "Sanctification," 40 pages; "Baptism," 183 pages; "Woman's Eligibility to Office in the Church," 125 pages, all of which were honored with liberal sale in Texas. In addition to this, we find among his effects more than one hundred poems, most of which are fine productions. There are also many manuscripts of much value, on various subjects, but mainly upon the lines of theological thought of the day. He was never idle.

He preached actively until about January, 1897, when the condition of his health demanded his withdrawal from active life. It was a sore trial to him. From that time his failure was gradual, but permanent. On February 19, 1899, he took his bed. Here he lingered, gradually growing weaker until the 19th of May, at noon, the frown of pain became a sweet smile, and, without the least sign of physical rebellion, our father was gone to heaven. He was 80 years and 4 months old. He left a wife and nine children who were around this sad, but happy, bedside. The next afternoon the funeral services were conducted at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church by Rev. G. M. Oakley, assisted by the Revs. S. R. Chadick and J. M. Robinson, after which we took all that remained to the cemetery and planted it away as a seed to await resurrection glory.

Just a few days before he died he spoke to me privately. He said: "When I was first taken sick I knew well that I would soon cross the river, and I was troubled, for in spite of all I dreaded death. O took it to the Lord and asked him to remove this dread, and he did so, and since that time I have had no shadow of fear. I am only waiting, and sometimes impatiently so, for the summons to come." Of course we had no doubt on that line, but we would not take ten thousand worlds for that conversation.

In the funeral service Rev. G. M. Oakley said: "He was a father to me from the first day I reached Marshall." Rev. J. M. Robinson said: "I succeeded him after giving up his last pastorate. His tracks are clearly visible there and will remain for a long while." Rev. S. R. Chadick, who had known him for forty years, said: "He was an extraordinary man, a fine scholar, a trenchant writer, a gifted speaker, invincible in logic and powerful in argument. But few men could measure arms with him in debate, and he contributed more to the literature of the church than any man ever a member of Marshall Presbytery."

From letters received, and they are many and full of sweetest condolence, we offer a few extracts; wish we could insert them all: Rev. W. B. Preston: "Not a few will rise up to call him blessed." Rev. W. M. Robison: "I always looked upon him as a giant intellectually, and with a heart so pure and a life so complete in the Lord." Rev. J. M. Cocke: "For thirteen years my pastor, and ever since, that of a father to me." Rev. M. C. Johnson: "I thank God that the early days of my life and my earliest ministry were in touch with such a man." W. B. Farr, D.D.: "He was a man of strong convictions, clear headed, warm hearted. A clear, vigorous, logical preacher, and one of the best presbyters in the denomination. While I was pastor at Marshall, when I felt depressed and discouraged, I would go and sit and talk with Brother Allen, and I always left strengthened and helped." J. A. Ward, D.D.: "Thus ends a long and eventful life. His was a towering intellect and a noble spirit." C. H. Bell, D.D.: "He was a man not only of vigorous intellect, but of genuine moral worth--a prince in Israel."

The letters of condolence would fill a volume. They did us much good. They were epistles of love. They came to us when they were needed. They brought comfort when the sympathy of friends was most valuable. Brethren, we thank you most heartily. We are in sorrow, for we have no father to advise us and pray for us now.

Longview, Texas.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, June 7, 1900, pages 715-716]

ALLEN.--Mrs. Eliza A. Allen died at her home in Marshall, Texas, Feb. 16, 1902, aged 72 years, and was buried from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She was converted in early girlhood, and when young was married to Rev. Walker M. Allen, of precious memory. Her oldest son, Rev. William B. Allen, has been for many years one of the foremost men of Texas Synod. Sister Allen's life work has been largely bound up in that of these two men of God. She leaves to mourn her loss four sons, four daughters, ten grandchildren, hosts of friends. Her husband, several children, many loved ones were waiting to greet her in the sweet beyond. She was a faithful, self-sacrificing wife and mother, a true, loyal friend, a most earnest follower of the Master she loved.
Marshall, Texas.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 24, 1902, page 542]

Allen, Walker Montecure. born Jan. 18, 1819, Huntsville, AL; self-educated; married Eliza Ann Handly in 1845; children: William Bell (CP minister), Sarah Emma Harriet Ella, W. H. Pittman, Jessie, Annie Pierce, A. J. Henry Watkins, G. Monte; ordained in 1848 by Charity Hall Presby.: served in Mississippi and at Mansfield, LA, before moving to Texas in 1871; president of Chapel Hill Coll., Daingerfield, TX, 1871-72; principal of high school in Center, TX, before moving to Marshall in 1873 [or 1876], where he lived until his death; served at Ewing Chapel, 1878-1882; Pine Tree, 1892-96; and other smaller churches in Marshall Presby.; clerk of presby. At various times; presbyterial missionary; frequent contributor to denominational publications; died May 19, 1899, Marshall, TX; buried in Greenwood Cem., Marshall, TX.--Campbell, pp. 95-96; CP, June 7, 1900; MM, Jan. 18, 1899; MM, May 26, 1899
[Source: Family of Faith, Cumberland Presbyterians in Harrison County 1848-1998. By Rose Mary Magrill. Memphis, Tennessee: The Historical Foundation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, 1998, page 598]

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