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James Allen Teaches While Studying Law

Born in Quartz Valley in 1883, James M. Allen served Siskiyou County most of his life.

Allen decided in his early 20’s to become a school teacher so he could earn money while he studied law.  He passed his exams for a certificate and accompanied his sisters to a teachers’ institute in Etna for a week-long program designed to prepare them for the classroom.

After just one day at the Institute, Allen disappeared for a day, returning with his new bride, Linnie McBee Allen.  They had gone to Yreka the previous evening to be married in the Episcopal Church.

The couple lived in Fort Jones until Allen passed the bar and moved his family to Yreka. The couple eventually had eight children, four boys and four girls. One of their sons, Robert, died on Okinawa during WWII.

Allen was elected in 1914 as Siskiyou County District Attorney and served until elected to the California State Senate in 1922, serving until 1935. He was elected as a Superior Court Judge in 1938 and served until his death in 1960.

Source: Luttrell, George. "James Michael Allen." The Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook 3.4 (1961): 1-3. Print; Parrott, Myrtle A. "Anecdotes About the Allens." The Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook 3.4 (1961): 8-9. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.