In 1808, when our national government was hardly in its teens, and Ohio was only half that old, Dr. Peter Allen moved from New England to the frontier town of Kinsman. Arriving with a black bag filled with herbs and leeches, he soon sought to embrace new scientific advances, helping to found what would become the Ohio Medical Society.
In 1821, Allen hired the architect-builder, Willis Smith, from Oxford, Connecticut. The Allen House would be Smith’s most remarkable architectural accomplishment, a crowning jewel of Federal Neo-Classical architecture in the Ohio Western Reserve territory. Smith used wood rather than brick or stone to realizing the elaborate detail that he sought.
Peter’s son, Dudley, born in the grand home, also became a doctor and practiced with his father. Dudley’s son, Dudley Peter, was also born in the house. In 1865, when Dudley Peter was 13, his parents decided to move so their son could attend preparatory school and eventually Oberlin College. Dudley Peter Allen would go on to become a noted surgeon in Cleveland. The Allens’ sold the house to the Plant family who would hold the home for two generations without altering it.