Dan Allen was one of Omaha’s earlier “self-made” men.  He was born in New York in 1832, and spent quite a few years in Peoria, Illinois.  He won a huge amount of money when he gambled on a wrestling match, and bought a steamboat with the winnings.  He traveled about the eastern US for a few years.

 

Dan Allen and Anna Wilson were buried next to each other

 

He arrived in Omaha in 1866, and managed several businesses centered around the Missouri River.  In 1871 he opened a gambling business in northwest Omaha and he expanded in 1878 to downtown Omaha.  Dan Allen died in April, 1884. 

It is believed that Dan and his long-time companion Anna Wilson met in New Orleans, and that he persuaded her to come to Omaha with him.  Her story is on the next page.