North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
THOMAS WATKINS ALLEN
January 7, 1893- January 5, 1973
Thomas Watkins Allen, son of Glaudius Lafayette and Emma Bragg Allen, was born on January 7, 1893, at his ancestral home near Creedmoor. Most of his life was spent on the farm. Although his life had many dimensions, his main love was farming and rural life.
During World War 1, he served in the 81st Division, seeing action as a corporal in France. After his discharge, he again returned to the farm home.
As an active member of the nearby Brassfield Baptist Church, which he joined at the age of twelve, his services included being the Sunday school superintendent for twenty-six years and song director for forty years. He was church clerk, member of the board of deacons and vice-moderator of the Flat River Association.
Because of his love for people and especially his county, he set an example for involvement. He served in various capacities in the Wilton Junior order, the Masonic Order of Creedmoor, and the Oxford Rotary Club.
He was instrumental in establishing a county library and for many years, served on the Granville County Public Library Committee. He was appointed to the North Carolina Library Commission, 1940-44.
As a staunch supporter of public education, he served on the Wilton High School Board and on the Granville County Board of Education.
Because of his interest and dedication to the tobacco program, he was referred to by some as "The Man of the Golden Leaf." This concern began early in life when he worked at the Oxford Experiment Station where he had a part in the research effort of Granville wilt and led to his strong support for "Nickels for Know-how" and "Research on Wheels."
Mr. Allen was the organizer and first master of the Wilton Grange No. 718 and also master of the Granville County Pomona Grange. He also served in the Grange as a member of the N.C. State Grange Executive Committee from 1937 until 1973; as chairman of the N.C. State Grange Tobacco Committee from 1946 until 1973; and as chairman of the National Grange Tobacco Committee in 1953. Under the long-time chairmanship of Tom W. Allen, the tobacco committee of the N.C. State Grange became one of the most active and effective committees of the State Grange. This committee spearheaded and promoted many programs and activities including sponsorship of the E.G. Moss Fellowship at N.C. State University; chartering the Flue-cured Cooperative and Tobacco Associates; and support and sponsorship of the Tobacco Marketing Advisory Committee.
As a good citizen, he was active on the state and national scene and served as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, 1949-53; North Carolina REA Board, appointed by Governor Dan Moore; chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 1953-58, appointed by Governor William B. Umstead.
To all who knew him, Thomas W. Allen will be remembered as a devoted friend, a Christian gentleman, and a tireless and courageous leader in many fields, especially in those which enriched the lives of farmers and their families.
the North Carolina
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME