Samuel Ezekiel Allen, rancher, was born in Harris County, Texas, on June 8, 1848, the son of Rebecca Jane (Thomas) and Samuel W. Allen. He attended Harrisburg public schools and Bastrop Military Academy. He was a rancher like his father, whose property he inherited and consolidated with some of his mother's land originally granted to her father, Ezekiel Thomas, and her great-uncle, Mosis A. Callihan. At the time of Allen's death in 1913 he owned 10,000 to 20,000 acres along Buffalo Bayou and was one of the largest taxpayers in Harris County. He also maintained a 10,000-acre "winter pasture" on the San Bernard River in Brazoria County and had additional grazing land in Galveston and Fort Bend counties. Earlier his holdings had extended to the Colorado River near Columbus.
For the headquarters of his ranch Allen chose a location near the mouth of Sims Bayou and used Buffalo Bayou for the transportation of cattle. Also he shipped cattle by rail, through his private station, El Buey. Besides his ranching activities he had varied business interests, including banking, shipping, and manufacturing. He founded and was one of the principal stockholders in the Oriental Textile Mills, at that time the largest manufacturer of press cloth for the cotton industry in the world, with offices in New York, London, and other major cities. Allen was also among the founders of a bank.
In 1874 he married Rosa Christie Lum. They had six children. Allen died on June 23, 1913. In 1917 Mrs. Allen began the dissolution of the Allen Ranch, which continued until her death in 1931. She was assisted by her grandson, Robert Cummins Stuart, who helped her subdivide Allen Dale, Allen Farms, and Lum Terrace. Through those and other subdivisions many streets in Houston bear names connected with the Allen Ranch. Both Allen and his wife were buried in Glendale Cemetery, Harrisburg.