By Louise Jones Brown
Tukwila Historical Society
A recent donation to the Tukwila Historical Society from Don and Peggy Peery was the inspiration for this month’s history article. We now have an Abstract of Title document that shows the chain of ownership of the area now known as Allentown.
The document traces ownership from Bennett L. Johns, who filed the original Land Patent in February 1884, to the Land Deed filing in April 1906 by Joseph and Flora Allen. Joseph Allen was born in Carlington, England, and migrated to the United States in 1879. His family never lived in the Allentown subdivision, as they had a home on Capitol Hill. Allen died in 1909 from complications of an appendicitis operation.
This document reads like a Who’s Who in the Duwamish River Valley history and dates to when this area was in King County, Washington Territory. There is reference in the will of Bennett Johns to his granddaughter Lillie Grow and grandson Bertie Grow. They were also grandchildren of another early day pioneer settler, Timothy Grow.
There is also mention of a land investment company formed by Joseph McNaught, as well as individuals, including F.W. Baker, Horace Henry, Joe La Franchi and Charles T. Conover.
Conover was president of the Pioneer Association of Washington and a frequent visitor to the Allentown area also known was Duwamish prior to the area being named for Joseph Allen.
Joe La Franchi ran a large dairy on land in Joseph Allen’s subdivision around 1905. Archie Codiga purchased the property from his partner, La Franchi.
Tukwila and the Duwamish River Valley had a rich history and the area continues to be the north to south crossroad of King County.
The Tukwila Historical Society will host a holiday gathering from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the historic Nelsen House, 15643 West Valley Highway.
Dress is casual, and appetizers and beverages will be served.
Tom Reese and Eric Wagner will present photos from their recently published book, “Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish.”
The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP by calling 206-244-4478 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Jones Brown is president of the Tukwila Historical Society, which operates the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center, 14475 59th Ave. S.