The Early Years in Arkansas (1918-1924)
Addison and Ellen were married on February 10, 1918 in Bumble Bee, Arkansas. Fifteen months later they had their first son, Cornelius 'Nick' Allen. Twenty months later they had their second son, Olaf Lessely Allen, and two years after that (January, 1923) they had their first girl, Mary Ann Nevelle Allen. All three of these children were born in Glenwood, Arkansas.
The Move to Oklahoma (1924)
In 1924, they sold their two farms in Arkansas for $2,500 (they had been farmers up until that time). Addison, Ellen, Nick(5), Olaf(3), and Nevelle(1) moved to Lawton, Oklahoma in a covered wagon. While there, Addison worked skinning horses. Later in her life, Ellen talked about having lived in Lawton near the Choctaw Indians. They would come to their home to borrow flour, sugar, etc. Ellen talked about how their dogs would protect them. She said she wanted to return to Arkansas with "her babies."
More Moving - to Louisiana, to Arkansas, and back to Louisiana (1925)
After less than a year in Oklahoma, Addison and Ellen moved the family to Louisiana. Ellen's sister Brunette helped to get Addison a job with Magnolia Oil Company (later became Mobil). When he applied for the job, they needed a middle name. He never knew what it was so he told them to just use the initial "A." Brunette's husband, Roy Britton, was a foreman at Magnolia. Addison and Ellen thought they made pretty good money while working there, but they stayed only a short time because they were homesick for Arkansas and Ellen was about to have her fourth child. So they left the oil company job and moved to Arkansas in time to have Eugene Allen in Glenwood in July 1925. They farmed again in Arkansas. They didn't do so well so shortly after moving there, Addison and Ellen were asking Brunette and Roy to help him get his job back.
In Merit City, LA (1926-1927)
They did and once again Addison was working for Magnolia. They moved to Merit City and lived there for about 2 years. One day while working he got his jacket caught in some machinery. This accident tore his clothes up pretty badly so he took an overcoat that was there to cover himself up. He also had one of his shoes half cut off, including the sole, but it did not permanently harm his foot. He went to Tri-State Hospital in Shreveport. Once he was discharged, he rode a train back home.
In Cotton Valley, LA (1928-1942)
Mrs. Garner rented them a 3 bedroom home in Cotton Valley for only $5.00 per month (the house did not have electricity). Mrs. Garner was a member of the Cox family and several of her brothers also owned land around them. The land had oil wells on them and the Cox's made money from oil. Magnolia paid for the water and gas (the house had gas lights). The house was on 40 acres of land and included a pond (actually more of a wide spot in the creek. Some of the kids wanted a place to swim and had dammed up the creek some). The family had a garden and raised cows, pigs, and chickens. In January 1928 (after 10 years of marriage, Nick was 8, Olaf was 7, Eugene was 2 1/2 and on Nevelle's 5th birthday) Ellen gave birth to their fifth child, Lola Clarice Allen. The last child, Gloria Charlene Allen, was born in September 1934 (Addison was 35, Ellen was 34, Nick was 15, Olaf was 13, Nevelle was 11, Eugene was 9 and Clarice was 6). Nick, Olaf and Nevelle all graduated from Cotton Valley High School. Eugene got his first job working at the Cotton Valley Theater running the concession stand. He earned $2.00 as week, but took home $1.98 as 2 cents was taken out for social security. After Nick graduated in 1936, he found work in 1938 at the Latex Iron Works in Yazoo City, Mississippi. It is about 30 miles north of Jackson. Nick was drafted into the Army/Air Force in January 1942 and went to Elgin Air Force Base near Pensacola, Florida. He worked in the machine shop on airplanes. Olaf graduated in 1940 and couldn't find much work. He earned some money by mowing lawns. He also worked for a short time for Snelling Company, and oil field contractor. A pair of chain tongs broke one day and hit him in the mouth causing him to lose two teeth. He later went to Dallas with two friends, Forest Johnson and Walter Cox, to attend auto/airplane mechanic vocational school. After graduation he went to California to work for North American Aviation. They were building B-52 bombers for the war. This was when he bought hi first car, an Essex Super Six for $35.00. He later traded it for a Hudson Terraplane, which was a real sporty car. He could have stayed and worked at North American during the war, but being the patriot that he was, he volunteered for the service. He had a place in the Coast Guard Seabee's but his dad asked him to come home to see his family before he joined. When he got back to California, he lost his place in the Seabee's so he joined the Marines and went to Camp Pendleton in California. He was with the Marines for four years and was wounded while fighting against the Japanese in the Marshall Islands. Nevelle also graduated in 1940 and went to nursing school at Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital.
Oil City (1942-1943)
Addison, Ellen, Eugene(16), Clarice(14), and Charlene(7) moved to Oil City in the summer of 1942. They rented a house there. Eugene graduated from Oil City High School in 1943. There were 35 in his class. Within two months of his graduation, he was drafted into the 361st infantry division (he turned 18 on July 17th and was inducted on July 30th). He trained in Algiers, Africa and then went to Italy. He spent 208 days in combat. While there he was shot in the leg by German 88mm artillery. While living in Oil City, Charlene spent her idle time catching crawfish.
In Vivian (1943-1946)
In the second half of 1943, Addison and Ellen (with Clarice(15) and Charlene(9)) bought a house in Vivian, Louisiana. In October of 1943, Nevelle married Eugene Danner in this new home in Vivian. In November, Nick married Roslyn Lewis, a girl he met in Florida. She was in the Women's Army Corps. They were married in Vicksburg. In March of 1944, Nevelle was dismissed from nursing school when they found out that she was married (it wasn't long after this that they changed the rules about marriage). Nevelle then continued her education in Oklahoma City General Hospital. Clarice graduated from Vivian High School and married M.B. Brockman in March 1945. Ellen cried when she got married (it was later noted that she did not cry for Nevelle or Charlene). Her crying was attributed to the fact that M.B. was in the Navy and getting ready to go overseas.
August of 1945 was full of activity. Nevelle graduated with her nursing degree. The war was over and Eugene Danner arrived one morning at 7:00am and Eugene Allen arrived the next morning at 7:00am. Also in August the first grandchild, Jason Allen, was born in Brooklyn, New York. This was because when the war was over Nick was in the Army of Occupation in Germany and Roslyn was with her family in New York. Clarice was a friend with a girl named Billie Jean Lovett and they would go to Shreveport on occasion. Clarice introduced her brother Eugene to Billie and he would walk two miles to see her at her house. Eugene and BIllie were married in December 1945.
By October 21st of 1945, Ellen was granted a divorce from Addison. Eugene Allen was the main witness against his dad. Ellen was to receive $85.00 a month for the first 5 months and $65.00 each month thereafter.
Eugene and Nevelle moved into a house in Vivian. This was also where Eugene's family was. He worked for Standard of Indiana (later changed to Pan American and then to Amoco). For Christmas of this year, the boys borrowed Eugene Danner's father's car and drove to Jefferson, Texas to buy a huge Christmas tree. In June, 1946, the second grandchild was born, Julia Ann Danner. Nevelle did not tell Charlene that she was pregnant, back then you just didn't say the word 'pregnant'.
The Moves to California (1946-1950)
After Nick got back from Europe, he and Roslyn moved to California and bought a gas station. Shortly afterwards, Eugene Allen joined them and worked for Nick. By the summer of 1946, Olaf bought a 1939 Plymouth from an Assembly of God preacher and he, Billie (who was pregnant), Clarice, M.B., Charlene, and Ellen all rode in the car as they moved to California. This was in the summer and it was hot. They drove at night and stopped in Carlsbad, New Mexico during the day to get away from the heat. The car also ran hot. When they first arrived in California, Ellen (and Charlene, age 12) worked as a live in nanny, caring for three children and doing housework for a single man in Downey. After awhile, Ellen bought a house and lived in Hawaiian Gardens. Nick and Roslyn, Eugene and Billie, Clarice and M.B., and Olaf all lived in the Willowbrook Trailer Park (in trailers, not mobile homes). Eugene A and Olaf worked for Nick at the gas station. M.B. worked for Snap On Tools at the tool and die machine shop. Eugene Danner and Nevelle were still living in Vivian. Ellen's sister Clare went east to Bomble Bee, Arkansas, and brought the other sister, Addie, and their mom Mary Swindell Louton to Hawaiian Gardens to live with her. In November 1946, Philip Allen was born premature, weighing only 4lbs, 5oz. He was in the hospital for 21 days. When Roslyn went with Eugene A and Billie to the hospital for the delivery, it was raining and it took a long time to get to the hospital.
Some Moved Away (1948-1953)
Nick and Roslyn sold the gas station and moved to New York because her mother passed away. He bought a parts house in Brooklyn and moved it to Long Island. Eugene Allen went to Vivian (where Nevelle and Eugene Danner were) to work for Mobil Oil Company. In April 1948, Ellen deeded the house in Hawaiian Gardens to Clarice. Ellen married George Brooks in October 1948. At this point they rented the Hawaiian Gardens house (it was sold in January 1960 for $4,500). One week after Christmas in 1948, the house that they lived in was destroyed by a fire that was caused by a problem in the wiring (that George did). Charlene got out with only her pajamas. He built a new house in 1949. In January 1949, Nevelle and Eugene Danner moved from Vivian to Levelland, Texas. He felt that he did not have too many opportunities on Vivian and when they were interviewing for a new plant Levelland, he took the position. A couple of their friends also made the move. Clarice and M.B. moved from California to Levelland to also work for Amoco. He was hired after 2-3 weeks of waiting. In August 1950, M.B. was called back into the service (Korean War). This tour lasted 18 months. During this time Clarice went back to California to stay with Ellen. After M.B. returned (January 1952), he and Clarice went back to Levelland, and Olaf and Cookie followed shortly after that. Charlene graduated from Excelsior High School in Norwalk on June 12, 1953. Her class was 600 in size. In 1954, she married Gordon Etherton.
Empty Nest (1954-1978)
With all the kids gone and married, Ellen and George lived in Artesia from 1954-1956, El Monte from 1956-1959, and then they bought a hotel in Laguna Beach. The hotel was located at 21436 Laguna Canyon Road. There were many family reunions at this hotel. It was sold March 3, 1966. Ellen and George then bought a house for $11,000 at 2034 West 7th Street in LaVerne. Then in August 14, 1969 they sold the house for $18,000 and moved to Banning. They lived at 871 N. San Gorgonio Avenue. In 1972, while on a trip visiting family in Texas, George had his appendix removed at the Lubbock Methodist Hospital. On October 27, 1974, they moved for the last time to Yucca Valley. They both passed away in the fall of 1978. She died of an Aneurysm, he died of pneumonia. Both are buried at Mountain Valley Memorial Park in Joshua Tree, California.
Pages that use this source:
Addison Andrew Allen
Gloria Charlene Allen
Lola Clarice Allen
Mary Ann Nevelle Allen
Olaf Lessely Allen
George Henry Brooks
Mary Lou Ellen Louton