Biography of Daniel McAllen
Oregon Biographies





The measure of Daniel McAllen's influence upon the history of Portland can scarcely be computed, but it is well known that his activities constituted a most vital and important force in the development and progress of the city. He was the promoter of the Lewis and Clark Exposition, which is said to be the most important single element in the city's growth, drawing to It the attention of thousands of visitors and thus leading to the steady advancement which has made it the great and beautiful Rose City of today. Mr. McAllen, too, was for a quarter of a century an active factor in commercial circles as senior partner in the firm of McAllen & McDonnell. Mr. McAllen was born in Balla, Ireland, August 1, 1850. His education was acquired in the schools of his native country and when he was a young man in the late twenties he crossed the Atlantic, landing at New York. He believed that he would have better business opportunities on this side of the water and for several years was employed in the eastern metropolis, filling clerkships in several of the large dry goods houses of that city. But the call of the west was still an insistent one and from New York he made his way to San Francisco, where he resided for a few years and then determined to come to Portland. Here for many years he figured prominently in the business and public life of the community. His experience as a salesman in the east well qualified him for the conduct of business on his own account and he became an active member and senior partner in the firm of McAllen & McDonnell, in which connection he conducted business for a quarter of a century, retiring about 1910 to enioy in well earned rest the fruits of his former toiL His colleagues and contemporaries in business came to know him as a strong, forceful, resourceful and progressive merchant and as a man of sound iudgment and keen sagacity.

It was in the '90s that Mr. McAllen first began talking of holding an exposition in Portland, but the city was then in the throes of financial depression and few People would give the suggestion even a serious thought. Mr. McAllen never abandoned the idea, however, but continually spoke of it on every favorable occasion until at length it was taken up by business men of Portland and brought to a most creditable success. Just how much this has had to do with Portland's rapid growth and development since that time can scarcely be estimated, but all agree in the fact that it was one of the most active elements in the advancement of the city in the twentieth century.

Mr. and Mrs. McAllen were the parents of four sons: Lavelle, Mark, William and Eddie, all of whom volunteered for service in the World war. The eldest, John Lavelle, was a lieutenant of engineers and was in active service at the front in France, where he did important work as an instructor. Following his return he now holds the rank of captain in the Reserve and is with the Guggenheim interests in Alaska; William Daniel was a lieutenant in the air service and was on duty as an instructor in Honolulu; Edward H. was a member of the navy and was on the ship South Dakota in South American waters; Mark was in the mine sweeping department of the navy in the North Sea, this being one of the most difficult and dangerous branches of the service. All four sons enlisted, not waiting for the draft, and their military record was one of which the father was very proud, as well he might be.

Death called Mr. McAllen a few days before the seventieth anniversary of his birth. He passed away July 28, 1920, in the faith of the Catholic church, of which he had long been a devout member. He possessed many sterling qualities and was highly esteemed by his associates and friends, who were dawn from every walk of life.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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