Allen Newman Tanner was born in Tooele, Tooele County, Utah on March 27, 1862, a son of Thomas Tanner and Ann Newman Tanner. He was the youngest of four, with the following brothers and sisters: Valison Tanner, Moroni Tanner, Jemima Mumford Tanner.
When Allen was very young, they were in very hard circumstances. They had very little schooling as they had to pay such a high fee and the family was very poor.
Allen’s father, Thomas Tanner, was a shoemaker, and he (Allen) used to run errands for his father and worked at any job he could find. Many times the family sat down to a meal of dandelion greens and pigweed greens and anything else they could find such as rabbits, sego lily roots, and anything to fill them up. Sometimes some of the neighbors would give them some milk and they would think that was a treat, to have some bread and milk.
When he was a little older, Allen left Tooele and went to Grouse Creek, Utah to help herd horses for his older brother, Valison. Then he worked for his brother until he was able to buy a place of his own. He bought a place from Philip Paskett and his widowed mother came to live with him.
When he was thirty-two years of age, he was married to Mary Emily Barlow on June 20, 1894. They lived in the old three-roomed log house for several years, then they built the big red brick house which now stands. (The old red house the boys play in across from the tie house.)
There were nine children born to this couple: Amanda was born on January 20, 1896, Allen Raymond on February 11, 1898; Joseph Thomas born on January 13, 1900 and died on February 23, 1900; another son, Leslie born on June 9, 1901 and died at the age of almost twenty-three years on April 25, 1924. Then there were the twins, Herbert and Delbert, born on October 5, 1904.
Allen was then called to go on a mission to Australia. He leased his place to Philip Paskett and his son, Parley R. Paskett. He answered the call and left for his mission on October 19, 1906. Another child, Alice Evelyn, was born the next spring on April 22, 1907. Allen spent twenty-seven months in the mission field and returned home on January 19, 1909. On December 1, 1909, another daughter, Bertha, was born and almost three years later the last child, David Edwin was born on September 7, 1912.
Allen was a good provider. It seemed like everything he undertook proved successful. He was a good financier. He had a good farm and always had good crops. He was also a successful stockman and had a good herd of Hereford cattle.
Allen was always interested in civic affairs and took part in any enterprise for the up building of the community. He always paid any donations that were asked of him.
Allen was a staunch church member and always willing to work in any church capacity. On November 25, 1894, he was made Superintendent of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association and was released in October 1901. On March 1, 1925, Allen was set apart as Superintendent of the YMMIA again with Lawrence J. Kimber as first counselor and George Paskett as second counselor and Wellington Richins as secretary. They were all released on October 11, 1925. Allen was chosen as a High Counselor in 1925 or 1926 in the Raft River Stake and held that office until his death. He was a Sunday School teacher, and an active ward teacher. It has been said that he was the best ward teacher in the ward when he was active, before his illness.
In January 1931 Allen underwent an operation and it was found that he had cancer. He never felt the same after the operation. He had all of his teeth extracted, but it didn’t help at all. The last four or five years of his life he spent at home and was almost helpless the last year. He passed away on January 8,1935 at the age of seventy-three and was buried in the Grouse Creek Cemetery.
Source: Amanda Paskett’s records now in Rhea Toyn’s possession. (1976)