Port Elizabeth of Yore: Two Generations of Master Builders

Like many of the settlers to the Eastern Cape, the Allen family thrived. Maybe it is an indomitable adventurous spirit which would produce three generations whose contribution to the development of this area was inestimable. The endowments of the first two generations, both named John William, were as master builders whereas the subsequent generation forsook this business to enter the world of shipping. Then sadly, like many other South Africans, the subsequent generations are spread across the globe.  

This blog is the tale of two men, both confusingly named John William Allen as well as their Settler roots. The third Allen member will be covered in a separate blog.

Main picture: Standard Bank Building in 1882 after the second half – a mirror image of the first half – was built in 1879 by the Builders, Allen and Winter. It was demolished in 1962 

Continue reading