The house at 335 Summit was built in 1892 for John and Margaret Allen. Designed by architect J. Walter Stevens, who designed a number of Lowertown’s warehouses, the mansion is constructed of Bayfield brownstone. Queen Anne in style, it is a picturesque example of a High Victorian mansion class house in the city with is many bays, unique dormers, and three story octagonal tower.
John H. Allen was born in Galena, Illinois on June 24th, 1838. He was raised in Illinois, and started work as a pharmacist in Chicago. When he came to Saint Paul in the 1860’s, John went into business with P. F. McQuillan, a grocery and provisions merchant. In 1886 he created the wholesale grocery firm of “Allen, Moon, and Co.”, with his business partner Daniel H. Moon. When Moon left the company in 1894, the name was changed to “J. H. Allen and Co.”, with John as president.
John Allen married Margaret Glassbrook in 1871, and together they raised four children. John was very active in his community, as he was a member of the Commercial Club, and Minnesota Club. He also served on the Saint Paul Park board, and was a director of the National German-American Bank. He died in his home on Summit Avenue on April 24th, 1904 of a disease he had been suffering from for the last two years of his life. He left behind his wife and children, who remained in the home on Summit until Margaret’s death on August 23rd, 1918, when it was sold to Joseph E. Stronge, president of the “Stronge and Warner Co.”.