Caroline Hillis Beck Allen

Is your surname Allen?

Research the Allen family

Caroline Hillis Beck Allen's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Caroline Hillis Allen (Beck)

Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Bonaparte, Van Buren, Iowa, United States
Death: August 6, 1926 (79)
San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Place of Burial: San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of David Henry Hauer Beck and Lauretta Roundy Beck
Wife of James Hardy Allen
Mother of Henry Hauer Allen; Mary Jane Allen Forbes; Joseph William Allen; Laura Myrtle Smith and Daisy Deane Allen Cox
Sister of William Peyton Beck; Ellen Samantha Beck; Charles Henry Beck; Julia Rebecca Beck Ralph; Martha Jane Beck Draper and 4 others

Managed by: David Alan Blair
Last Updated:

About Caroline Hillis Beck Allen

Possible DOM 5/24/1869; possible DOD 8/20/1926

A Family Legend

According to family legend, Caroline Hillis Beck was born into a well-to-do family but married a poor man because she loved him so much. James Hardy Allen was poor because he was so generous, and often helped others whom he knew would never pay back the money. She had 22 silk dresses when they married but never had another. Although she loved her husband very much, she became a bitter woman.

She was a pioneer wife with high standards. For instance, she used water to sprinkle the hard-packed dirt of the large yard/parking area outside the family's homestead cabin every day, and then swept it so that it was clean and tidy, and dust wouldn't drift into the house. She made the family's undergarments from feedsacks - and it took many washings for the brand names and labels to fade. One time some men were riding by on the road that ran right in front of the cabin and they saw the family's freshly-laundered underwear hanging on the clothesline. Evidently they laughed loudly and made fun of the family for wearing "feedsack drawers". Caroline was so offended that she made her husband quit plowing so that he could make a new road - one that took a wide detour around the cabin.

For some reason that no one ever understood, she didn't include salt when she made bread for the family. It's not that they didn't have salt - they did. It was just one of her quirks and the family got used to it, even though bread without salt doesn't taste very good. However, one time her husband brought someone home to supper, and he wasn't thrilled with the tasteless bread - so he salted it. Grandmother Beck was highly insulted that anyone would dare salt her bread, and she made it clear to her husband that his friend would never be welcome for dinner again!

There are many other stories about this woman's remarkable determination and sheer grit. For instance, just a few hours before the birth of her youngest child, she decided she couldn't stand looking at the plain board walls of her bedroom any longer. So she climbed up and down a ladder repeatedly, papering the walls of the entire room with newspapers and homemade paste! She's become quite a legend in our family, a name to conjure with. When one of us needs encouragement, we're reminded that we've got "Beck blood" in our veins. We also use the stories of her anger and bitterness as warnings, saying to each other for instance, "Uh-oh, your Beck blood is showing!"


  • "Unidentified Companies (1850)." Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Web. 19 June 2011. <,15792,4017-1-350,00.html>.
    • and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Year: 1880; Census Place: Centerville, Alameda, California; Roll: 62; Family History Film: 1254062; Page: 510B; Enumeration District: 24; Image: 0592.
view all 12

Caroline Hillis Beck Allen's Timeline

May 30, 1847
Bonaparte, Van Buren, Iowa, United States
March 1, 1870
Age 22
Livermore, CA, USA
January 12, 1872
Age 24
Livermore, Alameda County, California, United States
October 21, 1874
Age 27
Livermore, CA, USA
August 21, 1879
Age 32
Livermore, Alameda County, California, USA
Age 33
Bee Rock, California, United States
November 20, 1882
Age 35
Bee Rock, San Luis Obispo, California, United States
August 6, 1926
Age 79
San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, California, United States