This busy commercial area was once part of the Allen Ranch, one of the oldest and largest ranches in southeast Texas. A portion of the land was granted to Morris Callahan in 1824 by Mexico and inherited by his niece Rebecca Jane Thomas (d. 1919), who married Samuel William Allen (1826-1888) in 1844. Allen bought additional land, including a 1300-acre tract belonging to his friend Governor Francis R. Lubbock, and began operation of a prosperous cattle ranch. He helped organize the firm of allen & Poole to ship cattle to eastern and foreign markets. Samuel Ezekiel Allen (1848-1913) took over operation of the ranch from his father in 1881. He and his wife Rosa Lum (d. 1931) built a large home near the junction of Buffalo Bayou and Sims Bayou (1 mi. N). Allen was a leading Houston businessman as well as a cattleman. At the time he died, Allen's property included 13,000 acres in Harris County and 10,000 acres in Brazoria County. In 1917, Rosa Allen sold 700 acres to the Sinclair Oil Company (now Atlantic Richfield Corporation) as a refinery site. The remaining land was later divided for industrial, commercial, and residential use. The ranch house was moved to Galveston Bay, where it became Camp Allen of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
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