An Abstract of Title document recently donated to the Tukwila Historical Society reads like a Who’s Who of the Allentown area. COURTESY PHOTO

Document shows rich history of Allentown |Tukwila’s Story

A recent donation to the Tukwila Historical Society from Don and Peggy Peery was the inspiration for this month’s history article.

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016 3:00pm
  • Life

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.

Holiday gathering

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

Louise Jones Brown is president of the Tukwila Historical Society, which operates the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center, 14475 59th Ave. S.


More in Life

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Matt Kidd. Submitted photo
True strength has no limits

Covington resident Matt Kidd shares his story about kidney disease to help others during National Kidney Month.

Submitted photos from Kela Hall
Inspiring young women

The KD Hall Foundation honored Women’s History Month by having empowering and… Continue reading

Two commissioner positions available this year

For The Reporter The Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District (TPMPD) is a… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Tukwila Police Department’s
                                Facebook page
Tukwila Fire raises more than $8,000 for the LLS Stairclimb

The crew climbed up 69 flights of stairs at the Columbia Tower in Seattle.

Troop 398 newest Eagle Scout presentation

The Tukwila Historical Society is pleased to announce our volunteer and Tukwila… Continue reading

Submitted photo from the Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks Tre Flowers visits Tyee

He went there to present a $10,000 grant to the school

Measles outbreak: Officials urge vaccinations

Editor’s note: Measles is highly contagious. If you think you or your… Continue reading

The Tukwila Historical Society has been the location for the Japanese Sister City Gift Exchange Exhibit for the past several years. The city of Tukwila had many of the artifacts in storage and by joint effort it was decided to place the items in the museum for all to enjoy. For a viewing of the exhibit, please feel free to contact the Tukwila Historical Society to arrange a visit. Photo by Louise Jones-Brown
Japanese influence in the Duwamish Valley

In 1907, prior to Tukwila’s incorporation, the T.S. Unos family arrived from… Continue reading

For whodunit lovers, this short story is a gleefully-dark delight

Growing older is a very good thing. First of all, there’s a… Continue reading

Winter safety tips

The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office give safety tips about the winter weather.

Search no more, you’ll want to read ‘Hero Dogs’

You felt like such a loser. It was a feeling that didn’t… Continue reading