Austin Allen’s Boyhood Home ~ Murphysburg Historic District
This house was not designed by Austin Allen, but it is where he grew up and where his funeral was conducted. Austin lived here with his father, mother, and three sisters.
Austin graduated from Joplin High School and then Pennsylvania University. He was a member of the American Olympic athletic team which entered a track meet in Europe. Following the meet Austin toured part of Europe and spent some time in the study of architecture in Paris. Upon his return to America, he became associated with a leading architect in New York. In 1905 he returned to Joplin and opened an office, then in 1914 opened another office in Kansas City.
Austin’s father, John Whitby Allen (1856-1930) was the superintendent of Marion Mining Co. and had extensive real estate holdings. Eventually John and Lida moved to the Olivia Apartments, which was common for Joplin’s early, wealthy entrepreneurs.
Eliza Beall “Lida” McCown Allen (1861-1926) was born in Virginia and died of acute tonsilitis while she and John were in residence at the Olivia. We can only assume that it gave the proud parents “bragging rights” to be living in a beautiful landmark designed by their son.