“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Centerville in Dillon County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Joel Allen House

Joel Allen House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, February 26, 2009
1. Joel Allen House Marker
Inscription.  This house, located ¼ mile east, was built about 1857 by Joel Allen, Baptist minister who organized and served many churches in the Pee Dee area 1838–1884. He represented Marion County in the S.C. General Assembly 1870–1872. His son, W.B. Allen, added a second story to the 1½ story dwelling about 1891. The present kitchen was built about 1940 by J.J. Allen.
Erected 1975 by Dillon County Historic Preservation Commission. (Marker Number 17-4.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1857.
Location. 34° 24.696′ N, 79° 29.562′ W. Marker is in Centerville, South Carolina, in Dillon County. Marker is at the intersection of Centerville Road (Local Road 17-38) and Skillet Road (Local Road 17-29), on the left when traveling south on Centerville Road. Also at this intersection are South Butler Road and Historical Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Latta SC 29565, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pine Hill A.M.E. Church / Pine Hill Rosenwald School
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(approx. 1.8 miles away); Catfish Creek Baptist Church (approx. 3.2 miles away); Selkirk Farm (approx. 3.9 miles away); Early Cotton Press (approx. 5.4 miles away); Latta Library: A Carnegie Library (approx. 6 miles away); The Latta Library (approx. 6 miles away); Latta's Railroad Story (approx. 6.1 miles away); Latta Veterans Memorial Park (approx. 6.1 miles away).
More about this marker. House is off Historical Drive and can be seen across field.
Also see . . .  National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form (1974). Form prepared by Nenie Dixon and Clarence B. Allen. “The heart-pine farmhouse, painted white, is typical of the modest, yet well-built South Carolina upcountry house. Since its construction in 1857, the house has been owned by members of the Allen family, many of whom have made important contributions to the work of the Southern Baptist Church.

Architectural Significance. The house is an example of the well-constructed farmhouse built in the South Carolina upcountry before the War Between the States. The adherance to symmetrical arrangement and the frank use of local materials are typical of antebellum vernacular architecture
Joel Allen House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, February 26, 2009
2. Joel Allen House Marker
in the South. Solomon Sanderson, the local builder, assisted by two slaves, Kelly and Sandy McCrimmon, fashioned a sturdy structure based on a simple four room design. Although the house is unpretentious, the ability of the builder and craftsmen as well as the pride of the owner are expressed in decorative features like the parlor mantel and paneled wainscoting.

“Religion/Philosophy. Approximately one out of every three residents of South Carolina is Baptist, and the denomination has had an important influence on the state’s history. For three generations, members of the Allen family have been leaders in the Southern Baptist Church. In various capacities, as ministers, missionaries, authors, and editors, residents of the Joel Allen house have played major roles in determining the denomination's philosophy and policies.

“The original owner of the house, Joel Allen, was the minister of the Welsh Neck and Pee Dee Association for forty-five years. Having taken a stand against secession before the War Between the States, Allen was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1868. His son Joel I. Allen, helped organize, and later served as pastor of, the First Baptist Church of Dillon, South Carolina. Responsible for raising $100,000 for Furman Univer-sity in 1903, Allen was commended in a resolution by the University's Board of
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“A third generation of Allens who grew up in the heart-pine farmhouse included four who continued the family tradition of being involved with the Southern Baptist Church. Eunice Allen served with her husband as a missionary to Brazil. Three of her brothers, W.C. Allen, Benjamin F. Allen, and Clifton J. Allen, all ordained ministers, were honored by Furman University with the Doctor of Divinity degree. In addition to his pastoral work, W.C. Allen served as editor of the Baptist Courier, a denominational newspaper with state-wide circulation, and as vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1940. He wrote several church histories, History of Pee Dee Baptist Association ‘Manuscript for a Brief History of Baptists of South Carolina’ and History of First Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina.

“For fifty-six years a pastor of Baptist churches in South Carolina, Benjamin F. Allen was author of History of The First Baptist Church, Marion, South Carolina. and served as chairman of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

“A third brother, Clifton J. Allen, influenced the educational programs of the Baptist Church on a national level. A member of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board for thirty-one years, he served as editorial secretary from 1945 until 1969. His work for the Sunday School Board included preparation of lessons for weekly broadcast by approximately one-hundred radio stations. Allen wrote The Gospel According to Paul and from 1969 to 1972 edited the twelve volume Broadman Commentary of The Bible.(Submitted on April 11, 2009.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,952 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 11, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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Dec. 1, 2023