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Allen is located about 12 miles east of the intersection of M-49 and US-12. Named after Captain Moses Allen, a veteran of the War of 1812 who settled here in 1827. A small historic museum and plaque in his honor is found on the west end of town. Allen has survived the years through support from local agriculture and its functional location as a highway junction: this has helped to make it an ideal place for several antique shops, for which it has become locally known in recent years. The four huge malls on the west side of town host hundreds of individual antique dealers, from all over the mid-west, bring visitors from all over the country.