Allen C. Altvater, born December 26, 1897 in Bradford, Ohio. Came to Sebring, Florida, in 1915. Died in his Sebring home on December 16, 1994, at the age of 96 years. Allen was married to Mary “Boo” Estes, May 19, 1926. She preceded him in death, December 10, 1989. They had one son, Allen Charles (Jr.), born September 9, 1931; died May 11, 2005.
Prior to his retirement from the Florida Department of Agriculture in 1977, Allen was already active in the collecting, writing, and publishing of local history. All but his very last work, Withers & Harshman book, were hand type set and printed on the multigraph machine that he purchased in 1923 when he opened the Circle Theatre.
Allen penned these words several years prior to his death:
Probably no one man in Highlands County has received as many honors in his life as I have. It is true that many have earned recognition but have not lived to receive them. On the other hand, it has been my privilege to survive more than even the highest number of years allowed by the 90th Psalm, so I must act as surrogate for those with whom I was associated earlier in life.
is too late to give them the thrill of knowing that their contributions to the community benefits were appreciated, but it is never too late to make public their accomplishments. Never should be forgotten the names of “Daddy” Douglas, “Ebb” Gallagher, “Skeets” Naylor, Payne Sebring, “Alec” Blair, Ford Heacock, Neil Durrance and dozens of others who departed this life relatively early or before the public had opportunity to thank them in a manner that they would have appreciated.
A brief summary of Allen’s life would have to include some of the following: Chief of Sebring Fire Department 1925; Organized Florida State Fire College 1929; President Sebring Chamber of Commerce 1929-