One of my favorite characters in my family tree was my great grandmother, Tamra Anna Payton Allen. She was born in the year of 1860 in Monroe County, Ohio. Her father was Francis Payton (1833-1891), and her mother was Sarah Alvira Hogue (1835-1902).
While living in Ohio, her sister, Tacy, married Henry Allen, and they had seven children, four girls and three boys. However, Tacy died between 1884-1885. Tacy’s sister, Anna came to the rescue and helped Henry with the household chores and assisted in raising her nieces and nephews.
About this time, Henry’s father David sold his land in Ohio and made the decision to move west to Colorado. His wife and ten of his children and their families also headed west. Forty-two family members decided to move with the patriarch of the family. The families packed their belongings, wagons, and livestock on a train car as the prepared to move west.
But every story has a glitch, and the glitch in this story would be my sassy grandmother, Anna. According to the story, Henry asked Anna to marry him, but the lady had quite a decision to make. After five days of making Henry wait, and the rest of the travelers too, she finally said yes. At last, the families would begin their travel to Colorado.
Once they arrived in Evans, Colorado, they reassembled the wagons and headed to Meeker, Colorado. The Allen-Meeker wagon train arrived in Meeker in August of 1885. The Allen train decided to stay in Meeker until the following spring.
In the spring of 1886, the Allens arrived in Hotchkiss, Colorado. They came by covered wagon and crossed the Colorado River on the railroad bridge at Grand Junction. When I first heard the story, I was told that the ruts of the wagons on the old trail were still evident.
Anna and Henry had eight children of their own: Rosa, Mary, Rosswell, Gertrude, Douglass, Samuel, Thomas (my grandfather), and Bertha. In addition, they had all of the children born to Tacy. What a wild bunch!
My great grandmother died in 1945 in Hotchkiss Colorado, at the age of 85. With pride, I am pleased that we share the same name. My parents named me in honor of her and another great grandmother, Annie Strassburg Bryant.