Monday, December 10, 2012

The Naming of Streets

In his letter to the editor of the Evening Register, Frank Langlois made reference to the people for whom Allen Street and Paul Avenue were named: "Allen street was named in honor of the man who gave to the city a great industry. Paul avenue was in honor of one whose interest in and devotion to the cemetery is thus most properly perpetuated in grateful memory."

"The man who gave to the city a great industry" was probably Richard N. Allen (1827-1890), the inventor of the paper car wheel. Allen, who had been a locomotive engineer and then became part owner with his brother in a paper mill in Vermont, found a way to use the cheap grade of "strawboard" which was the mill's principal product to cushion the wheels of railroad cars. He got a patent on his design in 1869, and in 1873, he established the Allen Paper Car Wheel Works here in Hudson. George Pullman purchased a set of the "paper wheels" in 1870, and from that time forward Allen's wheels were used exclusively on Pullman's luxury railroad cars.

The man who showed "interest in and devotion to the cemetery" was Fulton Paul (1841-1900). His obituary, which appeared in the Evening Register on June 16, 1900, explains Paul's significance to the community.
For several years past [Mr. Paul] has been a member of the Cemetery Commission, and it is mainly due to his efforts, good taste and untiring zeal that the resting place of our dead is so well cared for, and that we have one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the State.
By his death the city loses a man it can ill afford to spare--a progressive, public-spirited man ever striving to advance the interests of the municipality. Despite the fact that sixty years had passed before him he was a tireless worker in the affairs that occupied his attention.

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