Alfred University often extols Abigail and Jonathan Allen’s early dedication to the institution and to their stances on equality for all. But not often is their more private family life brought to light. Not only were they revered public figures, they were also adoring parents to three children (a fourth one died at age 2).
The above oil paintings depict Abigail with their son Alfred (he later lived in Hollywood and was an early actor in American silent films). Many think the child is female based on the clothing but it was typical for young males to wear dresses in their early years. The second oil painting shows Alfred’s older sisters Evangel and May. The paintings are rich in detail and help create a fuller picture of two people so important to the history of Alfred University.