EDWIN FORREST ALLEN was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on October 9, 1872, as a replacement for David B. Sparks, who had resigned. He served as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company (present-day Ladder Company 1). He was resigned from his position with the Fire Department on June 30, 1873. He was replaced by John Gray. Edwin F. Allen was on occasion recorded as Edward F. Allen, however, Edwin was his given name.
Edward Forrest Allen was born in Maryland in July of 1844 to James and Lucy Allen. His father was a shoemaker. Edwin Allen lived in Baltimore through the enumeration of the 1860 Census. He enlisted as a Private on June 19, 1863 in Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment Maryland. The Ninth Maryland Infantry, under the command of Colonel Benjamin L. Simpson was organized under the call of June 15, 1863, for emergency troops to repel the Confederate forces then invading Maryland and Pennsylvania, and was mustered into the United States service for a period of six months. It consisted of nine companies, eight of which were raised in the city of Baltimore and the other in Baltimore county. On July 6, 1863, before the organization was completed, the regiment left Baltimore and joined General French’s division, which drove the Confederates from Maryland heights, after which it crossed the Potomac and occupied Loudoun Heights. Companies A, B and C were later engaged in guarding the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and in doing guard duty at Harper’s Ferry, and about the middle of August the remainder of the regiment was ordered to occupy Charlestown, West Virginia, where it was attacked on October 18 by the Confederates under General Imboden. Although the Ninth made a gallant stand it was overpowered by superior numbers and captured. Of the prisoners not more than one-half ever returned to their homes, the others dying in Southern prisons. Companies A, B and C remained on duty in Virginia until the expiration of their term of enlistment, and were mustered out at Baltimore on February 24, 1864. Private Allen was among these who mustered out of Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment Maryland on February 24, 1864 at Baltimore.
In June of 1864 a call went out to raise troops in response to Confederate moves towards Washington. Edwin F. Allen enlisted as a Second Lieutenant on October 1, 1864 in Company B, 11th Infantry Regiment Maryland. The Eleventh Infantry, commanded by Colonel William T. Landstreet, was mustered in on June 16, 1864, to serve for 100 days, and on July 1 left Baltimore for Monocacy, where it fought under General Lew Wallace on the 9th, holding the Confederates under General Early in check until reinforcements could come to Washington to save the national capital, which was threatened. After the battle of Monocacy the regiment was on guard duty at Monrovia and Mount Airey until October 1, when it was mustered out at the expiration of its term of enlistment. A large number of the men re-enlisted before the expiration of their 100 days’ term, for a period of one year, and these re-enlisted men formed three companies – A, B and C – of a new 11th infantry.
In January of 1865, seven companies of the 1st Eastern Shore regiment were added to the three already organized, and the new 11th was mustered in with John G. Johannes as colonel; James C. Mullikin, lieutenant-colonel; and Martin Suter, major. After the reorganization Co. C was assigned to duty at the Relay House, near Baltimore, on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad; Co. I was stationed in the cite of Baltimore, and the remainder of the regiment was sent to Fort Delaware where it was assigned to garrison duty. On June 15, 1865, all whose terms had expired were mustered out and those whose terms did not expire until October 1, 1865, were transferred to the 2nd Maryland infantry. Second Lieutenant Allen was mustered out of Company B, 11th Infantry Regiment Maryland on June 14, 1865 at Baltimore, Maryland.
After completing his military service, Edwin F. Allen returned to his parents in Baltimore. By the spring of 1870 he was working as a tin can maker, according to the Census taken on June 29th of that year. He may also have gained some experience there as a volunteer fireman. Not long after the Census was taken, came to north to Camden, New Jersey and Edwin F. Allen married Amanda Fetter. Edwin F. Allen was living at or near North 5th and Market Streets, when, as stated above, on October 9, 1872 he was appointed as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company (present- day Ladder Company 1) of the Camden Fire Department as a replacement for David B. Sparks who had resigned. He served for almost nine months, tendering his resignation on June 30, 1873.
The 1878 Camden City Directory shows Edwin Allen at 235 Hartman Street, which was renamed Clinton Street a few years later. He was then working and for a good number of years thereafter as a foreman at Abraham Anderson’s canning factory. The Allen family was still at 235 Clinton Street in 1883. The City Directory for that year shows Edwin Allen as a foreman at the Anderson & Knowles factory, Abraham Anderson having by then taken on a partner. He was living at 412 Clinton Street when the 1884-1885 and 1885 Directories were compiled. The 1887 City Directory indicates that the family had moved to 554 Pine Street, and they were still there in 1888. The 1890 Veteran’s Census gives Edwin Allen’s address as 415 Line Street. The Allens moved to 426 North 7th Street around 1894 and were still at that address in 1900. The 1906 City Directory states that the Allens were at 223 North 10th Street, and that Edwin F. Allen’s occupation was “superintendent”. When the Census was taken in 1910, Edwin and Amanda Allen were living at 708 Birch Street in North Camden. Four of their five children were living, although none lived with their parents. The living children were James F. Allen, Julia Goldy Allen, Lee Goldy Allen, and Mary A. Allen. The Allens were still at 708 Birch Street as late as 1912.
Edwin and Amanda Allen later moved to 726 Elm Street. This was their home when Amanda Allen died on June 16, 1913, survived by her husband and four children. Edwin F. Allen joined her on April 3, 1914. They both are buried at Evergreen Cemetery.