The Luther P. Allen house

The previous article announced that what has been called the John Dodge House in Waterford had nothing to do with him, but instead was built about 1857 by the Allen brothers.

Luther P. Allen, Eleanor (wife) and Luman H. Allen (brother) sold 43 acres of lot 35 to Martin Bacon on February 21, 1860, for $700. (Vol. 51, pp. 11-12) This was land west of what is today McNeal Road. This is an unusual deed for a couple reasons: in 1858 Luther P. had sold all the property to Luman H. and later this same tract was sold as part of Luther’s property.

On December 19, 1861, Luther P. gained possession of the property again when Luman H. cancelled the 1858 deed. (Vol. 52, p. 519) From this time until his death, the house belonged to Luther P. Allen and his wife. In 1864 he leased for one dollar his land in lots 34 and 35 to Columbus Hart “for the purpose of digging, boring, mining and excavating for petroleum, coal rock or carbon oil or other valuable minerals or volatile substances …” Hart could use “timber trees” and other materials from the land as needed. Allen was to receive the income from one-fourth of the production. (Vol. 56, pp. 468-70)

The family, which included Luther P., Ellen and seven children, was still living in the house in 1870. L. P. Allen is the name on the property in the 1875 Washington County Atlas. The nearest neighbors were Wm. A. Howell (now Margaret Lanning Pool’s house) on the north and Joseph Wood (now across McNeal Road from Scott Teters’ house) on the south. Williams’ History of Washington County says Luther P. Allen was born in Waterford Township in 1808. He married Ellen Edgar and had twelve children. Besides being a farmer and miller, he was a preacher for nearly forty years. (p. 555) Luther Pierce Allen died about 1877. His place of burial is unknown.

Ellen (Eleanor) received a widow’s dower of twenty-five acres, which included the brick house. In 1880 Ellen (age 67) lived in this house with three children, Levi (age 33), Luther (age 26), and Ella (age 21). The 1880 agriculture census of Waterford Township listed the farm in the name of “L. P. Allen Heirs.” On September 2, 1882, Eli Bingham, court appointed administrator, sold the remainder of lots 34 and 35 “for the payment of debts” to Oliver Tucker for $3,400. (Vol. 91, pp. 414-15)

On February 2, 1885, Eleanor sold her 25 acres and the house to Oliver Tucker for $1,000. (Vol. 97, p. 7) Tucker added to the property until the farm contained 262.94 acres. On July 3, 1902, Tucker and his wife, Mary J., sold their Waterford farm to Julius E. Barnett for $11,000. (Vol. 140, pp. 380-81) It is known that Tucker wrote a letter to Barnett explaining that he had named his property the Wolf Creek farm. Barnett’s son Clarence with his wife Mabel F. Skipton Barnett and children Willis S., Wilma M., Lois V., C. Welch and W. Edmund were the last residents of the house. Clarence died in 1959. The same year Ed and Eldene McFerren Barnett built a modern house next door. After Mabel’s death in 1966 the brick house was abandoned.

It is not clear why it became known as John Dodge’s house. Possibly since the Tucker farm incorporated land once owned by John Dodge, it was eventually assumed that it was Dodge’s house.

Connecting with the Allen property to the south were forty acre lots 14, 15 and 16 (120 acres) that had belonged to John Dodge (1787-1854). Although Dodge lived in Beverly in what is now the McCurdy House facing Dodge Park, he had farms in Waterford and Watertown Townships. On May 11, 1848, he sold the 120 acres to Stiles R. Fox for $600. (Vol. 38, pp. 410-11) Fox sold the farm to Joseph Wood on April 11, 1855, for $1,500. (Vol. 45, pp. 538-39) Wood sold the 120 acres to Charles L. Bowen on September 30, 1879, for $1,700. (Vol. 85, p. 548) The Bowen heirs sold this property to Oliver Tucker on February 20, 1883, for $2,400. (Vol. 92, p. 388)

The Barnett farm was the Charles W. Bowen et al. lots, John Dodge lots and the Luther P. Allen farm which included the brick house (see plat). It is said the old brick house has seen its better days; but when it is gone for good, records will at least show who lived within the walls all those years.

Phillip L. Crane, a Waterford resident and Marietta history teacher for 32 years, will share stories of historical events in the Lower Muskingum Valley.