14. Joseph Francis Allen (1869-1933), architect, mayor and political fixer
Joseph Francis Allen was born in Cornwall and reached Fremantle in 1896 via Sydney. C.Y. O’Connor’s Fremantle Harbour works were in full swing and Allen worked on the project for two years as an assistant engineer.
As a founder and partner of the architectural firm of Allen and Nicholas, he was responsible for the design of the East Fremantle Town Hall and the Fremantle Trades Hall.
In 1903 Allen became interested in local politics. He served on the East Fremantle Council for 29 of his remaining 30 years, including five years as mayor. Allen was also elected to the State Government as a Liberal member for West Province. He became chairman of committees in 1919 but was defeated the following year.
For the rest of his life he worked in conservative politics at an organisational level. He also served on public utility boards, professional associations and Rotary. His death in 1933 was sudden and mysterious. His body was found in the Swan River off East Street, but the Coroner found no suspicious circumstances.