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Mayor Antonovich recognized the Monrovia Historical Society for honoring the memory of Lt. Col. Allen Allensworth who passed away 100 years ago.
Lt. Col. Allensworth was the first pastor of Monrovia’s Second Baptist Church, established in 1902. He was also a member of the Los Angeles Second Baptist Church and a founding member of the Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena.
The highest ranking African American to serve in the Army in the Early 20th Century he was a military leader, nurse, minister, journalist, and founding father of the town of Allensworth located in Tulare County.
Allensworth, was born into slavery in Louisville, Kentucky on April 7, 1842 and sold as a slave in the 1850’s to Fred Scruggs, a horse and slave trader, who trained him to race horses. Before he could run his first race he fled behind Union lines and worked as a nurse attached to the hospital corps of the 44th Illinois and later served two years in the Navy before being honorably discharged.
In 1877, he married Josephine Leavell whom he met while studying at Rogers Williams University in Nashville.
In 1886, he acquired an appointment as a military chaplain to the 24th Infantry Regiment better known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
Lt. Col. Allensworth passed away on September 14, 1914 in Monrovia after a tragic motor vehicle accident. He is buried at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.