Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Dan Allen mystery

Posted August 24, 2010

His name makes me stop and think. I pass his way every work day. I usually stop under his name coming and going. I was slightly embarrassed today when I asked WRAL Morning co-anchor: “Who was Dan Allen?” Kelcey replied: “We count on you to know those things, Bill.”

All these years of passing by the road bearing his name and I had no clue as to who Dan Allen was. Why didn’t I ask? Why didn’t the curiousity get to me sooner? Maybe it is the early hour when I pass by his namesake road running through the heart of the NC State University campus off Western Boulevard.

Well, the mystery is solved thanks to a report written by Hardy Berry at the university in 1992. Dan Allen was a wealthy man and very good man. He was born in 1875 and even though he lived only 54 years he did a lot of wonderful things. After graduating from NC State’s agriculture program in 1896 Dan became a developer and real estate agent. He quickly amassed impressive wealth and was quite generous with his money. He gave freely to the college as well as churches, local schools and individuals, both black and white. Dan never married. He was a life long bachelor.

There are lots of names on streets and roads around North Carolina that make you wonder – who was so and so?

How about adding to the Dan Allen story with one of your own?

Who wants to start?


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  • bleslie Aug 24, 2010

    Rocky Mount native Buck Leonard was a legendary first baseman in the Negro League.

  • bleslie Aug 24, 2010

    Maury O'Dell was a popular radio personality for WPTF.

  • NCCaniac Aug 24, 2010

    Not Now,

    Waldo Rood was the mayor of Cary from 1949-1961, and later, president of the Cary Rotary Club, among other things.

  • westoflyra Aug 24, 2010

    Buck Leonard Drive in Rocky Mount.

    How about Jones Sausage Road? Was there a sausage plant there at one time? (Or is there one now and I just am unaware of it somehow).

  • pulstar40 Aug 24, 2010

    What about Maury O'Dell in Cary?

  • Not Now Aug 24, 2010

    Who was Waldo Rood? Another road I pass every day.

  • qbmurf Aug 24, 2010

    Donald Ross Dr Raleigh NC

  • dharper22 Aug 24, 2010

    When I first came to Raleigh in 1975 my office was on Jones Franklin Rd. Always wondered if the was one person or two. Anyone know?

  • tennispro Aug 24, 2010

    Charlie Rose is from Henderson, NC!! :)

  • thefensk Aug 24, 2010

    Some are little. Years ago I lived on a little road in Chatham County, Lamont Norwood Road. Shortly after I moved there I joined a local church and found out that Lamont Norwood was a member. He asked me if I knew why they named the road after him. I said no. He then said, laughing, "because they wanted it to have a little class." In fact he was a fascinating guy, he served in the Navy both before and during WWII; he was a Pearl Harbor survivor, and survived a boat sinking for quite a number of days in a life raft later in the war. Before the war, he served on the Battleship Texas, something we talked about all the time because of my Texas roots ... he'd joke that whenever he visited (which he did a number of times) he got to sign the "special" guest book. He passed away several years ago ... but he'll always be one of my favorite people.




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Bill Leslie