William Charles Allen (1857-1938) was born at Westtown, Pa. on March 9, 1857, the son of Richard Allen and Mary Dutten. Allen was often ill as a child, and received little schooling after age 14. He married Elizabeth C Bromley at Burlington, N.J. on September 10, 1883, and the couple had one daughter. For Allen's health, the family moved from New Jersey to Colorado, and later to California.
Allen was a recorded minister of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and made multiple religious visits to Japan, China, Australia, and South Africa, as well as England and Ireland. Allen also founded the Peace Committee of Churches of the Pacific Coast. Allen was a conscientious objector, and wrote a number of books related to this topic, including "Real war: as seen in South Africa, 1899-1900 (1910), "War! Behind the Smoke Screen" (1929), and "A Quaker diary in the Orient," among other publications.
Allen died on March 14, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the age of 81.