William Murray Allen, 99, 'mayor' of S. Baltimore

January 02, 1992

William Murray Allen, known to his friends as "Junior" and as unofficial mayor of South Baltimore, died of pneumonia yesterday at Howard County General Hospital. He was 99.

A mass of Christian burial will be offered for Mr. Allen at 9 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, 1419 Riverside Ave.

A lifelong resident of the city's south side, Mr. Allen lived nearly his entire life in the same rowhouse on Riverside Avenue. He left only once, as a teen-ager, when his family moved briefly to Havre de Grace.

His father, William Allen, had been a Baltimore councilman, state legislator and U.S. marshal. He and Mr. Allen's mother, Francis Harriet Murray Allen, also had owned the South Baltimore Construction Co.

The younger William Allen, who had a sixth-grade education, worked most of his life for the city of Baltimore, keeping the boilers going that fueled pile drivers on the waterfront. He later worked briefly for the state Bureau of Highways before finally retiring at age 70.

In the 1930s, Mr. Allen also ran the Riverside Pleasure Club, a local tavern.

A son, Charles Kenneth Allen, served in the Marine Corps and was killed during fighting on Okinawa in World War II.

His wife of 49 years, the former Leah Virginia Smith, died in 1967.

He is survived by three daughters, Dorothy A. Horton of Finksburg, and Harriet A. Lanier and Catherine A. Cinquegrana, both of Ellicott City; seven grandchildren; six great-grandsons; a great-granddaughter; and two great-great-grandchildren.

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