Allen College

Henry B. Allen

Henry and Mary Allen settled in Waterloo in the early 1860s. They prospered here for 40 years as business people and breeders of fine horses. They moved to California in 1900, but never forgot friends and neighbors back home. After Mary died in 1913, Henry resolved to do something lasting in her memory. Henry promised the citizens of Waterloo 80 acres of prime land and $200,000 to found a non-sectarian hospital open to all, regardless of circumstance.

Allen Hospital was dedicated on Mary's birthday in November 1924 and opened in February 1925. A training school was established immediately and was fully accredited by the State Department. On May 1928, the first class of ten nurses graduated. The hospital had a capacity of ninety beds. The first floor was used for the nurses’ dormitory, the second floor was divided into an Obstetrical and Medical Department, and the third floor was for surgical patients. There were wards in each department and a beautiful spacious sun parlor at the end of each floor.

Five generations of Cedar Valley families have been beneficiaries of his gift ever since.