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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



Major Walter Henry Allen
McLean County, Illinois

[McLean County, Illinois, in the World War, 1917-1918; by Edward E. Pierson & Jacob Louis Hasbrouck c 1921]
(Transcribed by: Teri Moncelle Colglazier)

One of the few officers of McLean County to win the rank of Major was Walter Henry Allen, son of Mrs. William H. Allen of 1112 East Jefferson Street, Bloomington.

He was among the first to tender his services and upon July 16, 1917, was commissioned Captain of Engineers and ordered to Fort Leavenworth as an expert in engineering, having become widely known in this profession by reason of fifteen years service in the construction of water works, sewerage systems and pavements in Chicago and on the Pacific Coast.

He was later assigned to the 5th Engineers at Corpus Christi, Texas, then being promoted to the rank of Major, was assigned to the 65th Engineers transferred to Chicago and placed in charge of the organization of Tank Units. In March, 1918, he was assigned to the Engineer Replacement Camp at Camp A. A. Humphreys, Va., served on the staff, organized the ordinance supply and constructed the rifle range, one of the largest in the country, and was later placed in command of the Fourth Engineer Training Regiment. September 1st, 1918, he was transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, and placed in command of the Depot Brigade, where he organized, trained and sent overseas 500 railroad men per day.

The long training and unusual organizing ability of Major Allen made him of especial value to the government during the trying period of the war and no one from Bloomington made a finer record or acquitted himself to greater satisfaction of the department. The services of Major Allen were so indispensable that he was kept on duty until long after the armistice was signed, finally receiving his discharge February 13, 1919, and resuming his profession of consulting engineer with headquarters in Chicago.


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