ALLEN BARLOW was born in Windham,
Greene County, N.Y., September 17th, 1810. He was the son
of Alanson and Mary Ann Barlow. His uncle, Joel
U.S. Minister to France (appointed in 1811 by President Madison).
The family were very prominent in Greene County. Allen
received a common school education, and was afterward graduated
in a select school at Andover, Mass., paid for by his own
labor, which heimproved to the utmost extent. When seventeen
years of age he was called to teach in his own school district,
which he accepted. Afterwards he went to the next district
and taught three or four years, then to an adjoining town,
and next to Lexington and Hunter, where he remained teaching
some five or six years.
He next took charge of a high school in the same town
(Lexington) for two terms, subsequently clerked in a store
near by, where he remained some two years and became familiar
with the business. He then purchased the interest of the
store at Lexington Heights, where he had clerked about
In September, 1838, he was married to
Lucina Denton Blakeslee, daughter of Colonel Enoch Blakeslee,
a well known military man of that day. After marriage he
began to look for a desirable place to permanently locate.
He had saved some $400 while teaching, which was his capital
to purchase the business in the store. Subsequently he
sold out and went to Prattsville, Greene County, N.Y.,
purchased a village lot of Colonel Pratt for $100, worked
with his father one season, engaged in peeling bark and
getting out timber for building his house on his lot in
Prattsville. An aged man, a carpenter, Captain Munson,
offered to lay out the work for the frame of his house
to be built in Prattsville, ten miles distant. With his
assistance he made the frame work and built the house with
his own hands under instructions from his friend Captain
Munson. A schoolmate, Cyrus Smalling, who had become a
carpenter and builder, finished the house and waited for
his pay. The next season he received his money. By means
of this practical work he had become proficient as a carpenter
and joiner, entered the employ of Cyrus S., the carpenter,
and continued with him two or three years, as journeyman,
at the trade. When he had paid for his house and lot and
had earned some $700 ahead, in the spring of 1849, he went
by the Isthmus of Panama to San Francisco, arriving just
after a terrible fire that had nearly destroyed the town.
He went with a
party of thirty other acquaintances to seek his fortune.
He purchased a chest of carpenter's tools after arrival
in San Francisco for fifty dollars, and began his labor
at ten dollars a day for his services as carpenter. He
boarded at the U.S. Hotel, in San Francisco, slept in a
hammock in the garret, paid two dollars per day for his
board. In the fall of the same year he concluded to try
mining and selected the southern mines, went on a steamer
up the San Juan River to Stockton, thence sixty miles to
Sonora. He engaged with B. Cruthers in manufacturing mining
apparatus, entered his employ at six dollars per day, continued
with him until the next spring, then he went into partnership
with him, carrying on a general merchandise store, his
capital consisting of $700, his partner furnishing the
balance. He went to San Francisco and purchased goods.
The firm did a very large business, as sales were from
$100 to $1,000 per day, with customary 100 percent profit.
One year's business placed the firm out of debt. During
the year 1851 a mining company was formed to build a sluice-way
from the mountains leading to the valley of Sonora. Mr.
Barlow was solicited to become superintendent of the company.
He accepted the position, but still continued as partner
in the mercantile business. The destruction of Sonora by
fire during this year included the firm's store. Everything
was consumed. However, the firm re-built the store within
the space of five days, purchased more goods and continued
one year in trade when they were again in imminent danger
of being burned out, but the store narrowly escaped. Previous
to this the firm had built a hotel to accommodate one hundred
boarders, which was almost completed and in running order,
when it was completely destroyed by the second fire. He
continued in trade till 1853, when he sold his interest
and came home to New York.
He remained in Greene county and built a house for his
brother-in-law, made a trip through the country with his
wife in search of a desirable location for business, and
finally reached Binghamton in 1854, partly negotiated for
his present home and subsequently completed this negotiation.
In 1856 he entered a drug store as clerk for one year,
in the village of Binghamton. He then purchased a half
interest in a drug store with L.M. Rexford, in the village
of Binghamton, N.Y., and in a short time afterward he became
sole owner of the same. In 1857 he sold out and during
the civil war he was appointed U.S. gauger, one of the
first appointed under the new law. He held this office,
with the exception of the years 1872 to 1878, up to 1884,
when he resigned. During the war he was most active in
supporting the government.
He is a self-made man and one of independent thought.
While in this office he carried on the manufacture of stencil
work, which he has continued, and subsequently added the
rubber stamp manufacturing, which has grown into an extensive
business, occupying a basement within the block which he
now owns on Washington Street, city of Binghamton N.Y.
A History of Broome County, New York. Syracuse:
D. Mason and Co., 1885, contributed by John F. Barlow
Looking for other resources for Allen Barlow?
Author: Allen Barlow, 1810- Title: Allen Barlow
papers, 1855-1925. Description: 20 items (ca.)
Notes: Merchant, manufacturer.
Two books of business and domestic accounts containing
construction expenses for a residence in 1855, a business
block in 1885-86, and other jobs; household receipts,
magazine articles, and political letters to local newspapers.
Also minutes of board of trustees of Barlow School of
Industrial Arts, Binghamton, 1889-1925; and other papers
and correspondence regarding transfer of Oak Street property
of school to city. Card catalog.
Subjects: Broome County, New York -- Business activity
Business activity -- Broome County, New York
Broome County, New York --
Education. Education -- Broome County, New York. Construction
trades. Minutes. Correspondence.
Location: Broome County Historical Society, Roberson Center
or the Arts and Sciences 30 Front Street Binghamton, New
Control No.: NYHV271-A