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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Dan Allen mystery

Posted August 24, 2010 9:45 a.m. EDT

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?