Palo Alto Hardware- 1930- University and Ramona---photo from the Palo Alto Historical Archives
SURNAMES: ABLES, JEFFREYS,
Prominent among the successful business men of Palo Alto, whose integrity and progressive methods have highly commended themselves to their fellow-citizens, and so provided for them a loyal, patronizing public, is William Benjamin Allen, a native son of Santa Clara County, who was born in San Jose in 1878. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Graves Allen, well-known pioneers, Mr. Allen having come to San Jose from New York State in 1856 and spending the greater part of his life in this vicinity. In 1871 he married Harriet Ables, whose family was prominent in the Berryessa District. William B. Allen was educated in the public schools of San Luis Obispo County, and when sixteen years old started working in a hardware store, and has continued in that important field ever since. Pushing out into the world, he sailed for the Hawaiian Islands, where he remained for five years. At San Jose, on June 26, 1901, Mr. Allen married Miss Winifred Jeffreys, a native daughter. They have two children, Lloyd Jeffreys, born in Honolulu, May 26, 1902, and Edyth Winifred, born in Palo Alto, January 9, 1906.
In 1903, Mr. Allen returned to California and pitched his tent in Palo Alto. Here he established the Palo Alto Hardware Company, which is among the enterprises most worthy of mention in the community. It is located in the Nevada Building, at a corner of University avenue and Bryant street, and occupies the entire ground floor and basement. The purchase of this building and the maintenance of high-grade stock are the substantial evidences of the faith the Palo Alto Hardware Company has in the permanent growth of this renowned academic center. The Palo Alto Hardware Company was incorporated at the same time it was established, and for the past nineteen years has occupied a leading place among the mercantile establishments of Palo Alto. It has been under the active management of W. B. Allen, its president and manager, who had associated with him, his father, B. G. Allen, as secretary and treasurer, until the latter's death in January 1919. At all times the company has had an efficient staff of assistants, which has enabled it to maintain a high standard of service, much appreciated by this community of representative people.