Oren D. Allyn, Former Holyoke Official, Dead

by Laurel | January 6th, 2014

06 January 1929

Oren D Allyn House

Oren D Allyn House
141 Locust St., Holyoke
George P. B. Alderman, Architect
Built about 1890

Served on Board of Public Works — Well Known real Estate Dealer — Expert on Rose Culture

Holyoke, Jan 5 — Oren D. Allyn, the former city official and founder of the Oakdale section of Holyoke, died early today at his home 141 Locust Street after a long illness. Mr. Allyn combined in a rare degree the deepest sense of what was right and wrong in public and private life, with a genial friendly aspect and attitude to his fellows and an exquisite appreciation of beauty and Nature and especially of roses and trees, in the planting and care of which, especially roses, he occupied most of his spare time in their season.

“Orry,” as he was familiarly known to friend and political acquaintances, always stood for the highest ideals in public life when he was a member of the board of public works from 1899 to 1906. The meetings of that board, with Michael F. Walsh as chairman, Gilbert Potvin, Jr., and Mr. Allyn, were as interesting from the story telling that enlivened the sessions as the administration work. Withal he had a keen instinct for crookedness an for deceit and after leaving the board more than once sounded a warning against questionable action in public affairs.

Rose Growing His Hobby

The planting of trees and the growing of roses were his hobbies. Tree planting he urged not only by private individuals but upon the city itself. Many a row of trees today in Holyoke streets testifies to his zeal and energy in urging this ideal. For years he had maintained a rose garden of wonderful beauty in the large yard of his Locust Street home that was visited by hundred every season. But he was not content with that; he gave away or sold for some nominal sums rose bushes and cuttings to those who wished to beautify their homes; and in the height of the rose season sick people and the hospitals were not forgotten, a plea for roses for a sick friend was always met with an eager response.

The “Father of Oakdale”

He was sometimes referred to as the “father of Oakdale,” which was in no way a misnomer as he had erected and sold, many at easy terms to those unable to buy outright, something like 300 houses in that section. One of his latest developments was opposite the Beech Street grounds. The greater part of the property so developed at one time the farm of his father, Anderson Allyn, one of three brothers prominent in early Holyoke history.

Born in Holyoke December 21, 1853, Mr. Allyn received his early education here and entered the meat business with his father and brothers. Later he went into the real estate business. His development of properties was always with a view to beauty and in setting out plots for homes he saw to it that enough land went with each house to allow for a garden.

In 1899 he was appointed a member of the board of public works by Mayor Arthur B. Chapin and served on that board from then until 1906. As a member of the board he was interested in the “city beautiful.” He advocated the planting of trees and the allocation of beauty spots in the city was made largely through his suggestion. It is a coincidence that the trees knocked down on the Springfield highway to make room for the demands of motor traffic were set out on the advice of Mr. Allyn.

After 1906 Mr. Allyn did not accept office in public life although the city insisted that he be a member of the board of survey. In this capacity Mr. Allyn has been on invaluable service to the city. He was a charter member of the Home National bank which later became the Hadley Falls Trust Company wand was connected with the People’s Savings Bank and the Morris Plan Bank. He had been a trustee of the People’s Savings Bank and the Hadley Falls Bank and acted in an advisory capacity in the Morris Plan Bank.

He has been president of the Forestdale Association since the death of W. S. Loomis. He was a member of the Second Congregational Church, Mt. Tom Lodge of Masons, being a 32d degree Mason and a Knight Templar. During the life of the old Bay State Club e was an active member of that organization.

He leaves his widow, Mrs. Alice (Ladd) Allyn and two brothers, Edward A and William A., both of Holyoke. The funeral will be held at the home, 141 Locust Street, Monday afternoon at 2. Rev. Dr. Clarence Reidehbach will officiate and burial will be in Foresdale Cemetery. The funeral from the house will be public, but the burial service at the cemetery will be private.

From The Springfield Republican.
Image courtesy Massachusetts Historical Commission, MACRIS database

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