Moses Allen fought in the War of 1812, later serving as a captain in the Michigan militia. He became the first "white settler" in present-day Hillsdale County, settling here in April 1827, two years after working on the Chicago Road
(present-day US-12) survey. The area once known as Allen's Prairie, now constitutes the village of Allen. When the Allens built their cabin, their closest neighbor was fifty miles away. Soon, more settlers moved to the prairie. Allen had claimed his tract, but it was not until 1829 that the U.S. government declared the land "ready for sale." That summer he began building a log tavern, but died in October. His widow completed a tavern that same year along the Chicago Road. The area's first school was built here in 1831. Moses Allen is buried in Allen Township Cemetery.