Linton E. Allen was a banker and avid traveler, and also a veteran of both World Wars. While overseas, he fell in love with the fountains he would see in the European cities he traveled through, and resolved to one day bring one to Orlando.
Allen was a connected man in the early days of Orlando, as he was in the Rotary Club and sat on the American Independent Reinsurance Company. He was also the founder of the First National Bank in Orlando, which he did in the middle of the Depression. Allen was close with the Mayor’s office as well, which is probably why it was a relatively simple affair for him to convince the City to eventually place a fountain in Lake Eola (which is in reality a sink hole, Sink Hole Eola).
It was named the Centennial Fountain in 1957 to mark the 100th anniversary of the City receiving its name.
When Allen eventually passed in 1965, the fountain was renamed in his honor – the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain.
Editor’s Note: There is a beautiful book in the Orange County History Center (Website) that was given to Allen on his 75th birthday full of gorgeously restored photos from his life that have questionably hilarious quotes and anecdotes as well as some more serious and heartfelt.
“By only the thickness of a helmet, with God’s Grace, was he spared to fulfill his destiny.” – Unknown Author, 75th Birthday book.
You can reserve an appointment to visit the Center, free of charge, and look at the book yourself by contacting them ahead of time at the link provided above.
Did You Know-town is a series of hyper-local trivia bits about the City Beautiful.