October 29, 2017

Popular Preacher Struck Down by Lightning

"His death [was] all the more dramatic for the reason that he held in his hand a bible which he had been reading."

Shocking, isn't it?

In many parts of Arizona, Rev. Fred Allen, a Methodist, "was well and favorably known."

"He was a fearless preacher, and was fervently devoted to his calling," his obituary stated. "For 14 years he had been among the Navajo Indians and followed missionary work studiously."

During the wintertimes, the reverend "supported himself by selling Navajo blankets for traders," while he spent the summers "evangelizing."

"He was prominent in the Indian Mission conference" which was being held in Prescott at the time.  After the conference concluded, "Rev. Allen was sent to (Jerome Junction) by Rev. CW Deming of the Marina Street Methodist church to hold meetings."

A common practice for him, Allen pitched a tent "close to the public school to the south, while nearby were several residences."

Saturday, September 2, 1911, "Rev. Allen had been engaged in reading his bible, as was his custom the day before he delivered his Sunday sermon, and was visited by many people residing close by."

He expressed to each visitor how much he enjoyed reading his bible in the great out-of-doors "and was looking ahead to the coming of the sabbath, which," he told them, "would probably be his last one in that community."

He "desired to return soon to his much loved work with the Indians of the north."

The true story of William F "Buffalo Bill" Cody's visit to Prescott, AZ late in 1911. Includes his visit to the Arizona Pioneers' Home and his investment in area mining.

As a light rain began to fall, many people witnessed the reverend retreat back into his tent when suddenly, a tremendous explosion caused everyone in the immediate vicinity to become "severely stunned for several minutes!"

"None were able to discern what had taken place until after an investigation was made a few minutes later, when the shocking scene was viewed by Miss Gill," the daughter of the next door neighbor.

Rev. Allen had just entered his tent when the lightning bolt struck. "The shock was of such terrific force that his body was thrown inside several feet."

"An examination...showed that the full force of the bolt struck Rev. Allen in the back of the neck and it passed out of his body through both (legs). His undershirt was torn into shreds and badly scorched as well as the rest of his clothing. His shoes were burned and ripped to fragments and his body was discolored from head to foot down the back."

Of course, it was Allen's previous message that was his last. Later that evening his body was brought to the Ruffner Chapel while word was awaited from his mother in Kansas. Those who knew him were stunned by the news.

Rev. Fred Allen was merely 39 years-old.

CLICK HERE for a listing of all the Supernatural & Bizarre articles on Prescott AZ History
A listing of all the supernatural, paranormal, bizarre, and incredible articles on the Prescott AZ History blog. Includes crypts, UFO's and a giant humanoid.


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Arizona Journal-Miner 9/3/11 Pg. 4 Col. 1


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