September 7, 1812, Mansfield, Massachusetts.
December 9, 1877, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Westwood Cemetery, Oberlin, Ohio.
Allen studied music in Boston, Massachusetts, under Lowell Mason. In 1837, he became an instructor in Science of Music at Oberlin College, while he was still a student. A year later, he was appointed instructor of Sacred Music, and became a full professor in 1841.
Allen was also a student of geology, and 1847 became professor of Geology and Natural History.
In 1837, Allen founded the Oberlin Musical Association (now known as the Musical Union), one of the oldest organizations of its type in America. In 1844, he compiled the Oberlin Social and Sabbath Hymn Book.