Grover Cleveland & Grand Island Young Grover Cleveland, inspired by his uncle Lewis F. Allen's experimental work with cattle, visited Allentown Farm and stayed to maintain the farm records. Cleveland eventually worked as an apprentice in a Buffalo law office and later made Buffalo his home. Allen introduced Cleveland to many influential people who furthered his legal and political careers. This photograph is of a copy of a portrait of Grover Cleveland painted by Eastman Johnson in 1884. Courtesy of Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers, New York. 1959 - Admitted to the New York State Bar 1863 - Appointed assistant district attorney of Erie County 1871 - Elected Erie County sheriff 1881 - Elected mayor of Buffalo 1882 - Elected governor of New York State 1885 - Became the 22nd President of the United States As a young man, Grover Cleveland was one of 17 charter members of the Jolly Reefers, a Grand Island sportsmen's club. This 1934 photograph shows the Beaver Island Club, constructed by the Jolly Reefers on Beaver Island. by the 1870s, the Jolly Reefers had disbanded, and Charles Marshall, a charter member of the club, purchased the clubhouse. Courtesy of the Grand Island Historical Society. Lewis F. Allen & Western New York Lewis F. Allen was a businessman
prominent in the development of Grand Island and the city of Buffalo. In 1834, Allen and other agents for the East Boston Timber Company purchased land on Grand Island where white oaks were harvested to build clipper ships. After most of the island's oaks had been cut and the sawmill closed, Allen bought about 658 acres and established the Allentown Farm (1851-1867), which became one of the country's first experimental fams and Western New York's largest at the time. Lewis F. Allen opened The Falconwood Club (right), a public resort he built and named for the birds that nested in the area. Although Allen sold the resort in 1865, it continued to serve Buffalo's prominent families until destroyed by fire in the 1920s. Courtesy of the Grand Island Historical Society. Allen helped establish some of Grand Island's finest farms and developed many of the island's resort clubs. He wrote papers for agricultural and political journals and compiled and edited books on the history and improvement of cattle and farm management. He also brought the first peach tree and northern spy apples to Grand Island and Western New York. Lewis F. Allen was one of the original founders on the Erie County Agricultural Society, which sponsored the Erie County Fair, first held in Buffalo in 1841 and later moved to Hamburg. Renamed "America's Fair," it is one of the nation's largest county fairs. Courtesy of the Erie County Agricultural Society, Hamburg, New York. Lewis F. Allen was an abolitionist. He believed that the western territories should enter the Union as Free States. He was also an outspoken opponent of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In spite of his many accomplishments as a businessman, Allen preferred to be known as a farmer. Image from A Descriptive Work of Erie County, 1898. Lewis F. Allen's Accomplishments: · Served as president of the newly formed Buffalo Horticultural Society · Served on First Board of Health in Erie County · Served in the New York State Legislature · Founder of the first City Cemetery Association at Forest Lawn Cemetery · Served as president of the New York State Agricultural Society · Founder of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society The Buffalo Historic District, "Allentown," is named for Lewis F. Allen. The "Allentown Art Festival," an annual event designated by the Library of Congress as a local legacy, is held on "Allen Street," a street that was once a "cow path" on Allen's Buffalo farm property. Lewis Allen also planted many fruit trees along the city streets. Courtesy of The Allentown Village Association, INC.