Pueblo County, Colorado
Gordon Llewellyn ALLOTT
Contributed by Jean Greisan
Gordon Llewellyn Allott was born in Pueblo, Colorado on January 2, 1907, the son of Leonard John Allott and Bertha Allott. He was the second oldest of four children, having an older brother, a younger brother, and a younger sister. He was of English and Welsh descent. His father was a meat inspector and his mother was a high school teacher. Gordon grew up in Pueblo, attending the schools there, including Central High School. Gordon was a very fast runner and went on to become a state champion in track. He won the state championships in the 100 yard dash, the 220 yard dash, and the 120 yard hurdles. He graduated from Central in 1923.
After high school, Gordon attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. He continued to run track, and was named an All-American. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. He went on to attend law school at University of Colorado, graduating with a law degree in 1929. He returned home to Pueblo and began to practice law.
Shortly after his return, Gordon was offered a job in private practice in Lamar. Starting in 1930, he practiced law in Lamar, specializing in irrigation, trial, and probate law. For fourteen years, he represented Amity Mutual Irrigation Company, one of the largest systems in state.
Gordon Allott married Welda O. Hall on May 15, 1934 in Prowers County, Colorado. She was born in Arkansas City, Kansas on September 13, 1908, but had moved to Lamar, Colorado at the age of four. She had attended college at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and the University of Wyoming in Laramie. They had two children, Roger Hall Allott and Gordon Llewellyn Allott Jr.
Professionally, Gordon was prospering as well. He held the office of County Attorney for Prowers County in 1934 and again later from 1941 through 1946. He became the director of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Lamar, Colorado, a position he held from 1934 until 1960. He was also active in the Young Republicans. He was the first chairman of the Young Republicans League of Colorado, and held that position from 1935 through 1938. He was the City Attorney for Lamar from 1937 through 1941. He served as the chairman of the Young Republicans National Federation from 1941 to 1946. In politics, he was conservative in political philosophy with a reputation for courage in party struggles.
When World War II broke out, Gordon Allott served in the U.S. Army Air Force. He served in the South Pacific, as a Major, with the 39th Fighter Squadron. He served from 1942 to 1946.
After the war, he served as Prowers County District Attorney, from 1946 to 1949. He went on to serve as the Colorado lieutenant governor from 1951 through 1955 under Governor Dan Thornton.
Welda Allott was heavily involved with the community in Lamar. She was active in politics, women's clubs, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Episcopal Church, and civic projects, including serving as a volunteer at a state veterans hospital. She also was the only woman on the board appointed by the Lamar City Council to manage the Lamar community building. Additionally, she organized a group to sponsor and finance a traveling children's theater group to make routine visits to Lamar.
Gordon Allott was elected to the United States Senate in the fall of 1954. He began his service in the U.S. Senate on January 3, 1955. Gordon served three consecutive terms in the Senate. When he first started in the Senate, he was described as a brash young fellow, and that it took him a while to catch on to the way things worked in the Senate. Little by little, Allott made his way. During his tenure in the Senate, Allott served on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Interior Committee, where he was directly involved in water, resources, and Indian affairs. Toward the end, he was the highest ranking Republican on the Interior Committee and was also a powerful voice on the Appropriations Committee. Jerry T. Verkler, who was the staff director for the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee from 1963 to 1974, had this to say about Gordon Allott:
“Tommy Kuchel had just been defeated in the primary out in California, so Gordon Allott moved up. And I like to think that--if I skip around a little bit and comment, since this is to be a truthful history anyway--that as he was elevated in the responsible chain of command, he became a much more responsible and responsive leader. He was kind of a gadfly when he was two or three down the pecking order. He was the one that had to be sure that the true, conservative philosophy was protected against those usurpers like Tommy Kuchel… Once Gordon Allott became ranking minority member, he was very responsible and easier to work with. There were strong differences of opinion on policies still, on many issues. But he became a lot easier to work with.”
Joseph Blake was one of Gordon’s legislative aides. Blake states: “I went back to Washington, D. C., as a legislative aide to Sen. Gordon Allott (R – Colo). Gordon Allott was a perfect example of a real public servant. He was a great and modest man.” He was very well respected by his colleagues.
Gordon Allott served as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations in 1962.
In 1966, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) created the NCAA U.S. Senate Salute where they honored U.S. Senators who were worthy of mention for their athletic prowess. Gordon Allott was honored for his athleticism on the track.
The University of Colorado awarded an honorary degree upon Gordon Allott in 1969. It was the L.H.D., the Doctor of Humane Letters.
In the early 1970s, Gordon was looking to hire a “conservative academic” to help him draft his speeches. There wasn’t anybody in Washington, D. C. that fit that title. However, he was able to hire young George Will, a 25 year-old who was teaching in Toronto. It was a great start for George Will, who now owns a Pulitzer Prize for commentary and is one of the nation’s best-known political writers, also writing columns for Newsweek and making weekly appearances on ABC’s “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos. The following is a short story about how George Will helped Gordon Allott write his speeches and the profound impact that he had on Allott’s career.
“Thinking back, I can recall being impressed with the intelligence and knowledge of several U.S. Senators... Jacob Javits [R-NY], Russell Long [D-LA], Hubert Humphrey [D-MINN], John Stennis [D-MISS], John Tower [R-TX], Henry Jackson [D-WA], but even these superior politicians I found now and then stumbled into areas where they just didn't know what they were talking about. Almost invariably, I think it was because of failures at their staff levels. They were briefed or given talking points or speech drafts with inferior material collected by inferior staffers. As an example, I specifically recall reading the Congressional Record one morning in the Senate press dining room to discover that Sen. Gordon Allott [R-CO], who was as dumb as a post the last time I read his blatherings, suddenly had made a brilliant speech on the Senate floor. I quickly called his press secretary to congratulate him on the speech and to ask who had helped draft it for the Senate. It turned out to be a new staff member, practically straight out of college, a 25-year-old young man named George Will. As long as George worked for Allott, Allott was smart.”
During these years while Gordon Allott was in Washington D. C. as a senator, Welda Allott was busy doing her part for America. She was involved as a member of the Republican Congressional Wives Club, serving as their president for a time. She was also involved with the Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit. Part of her work included compiling a history of the Ladies Red Cross Unit. She became familiar with first ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Pat Nixon while serving as a member of the Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit. Additionally, she was a member of the International Club, whose members are chosen from the wives of ambassadors, Cabinet members, members of Congress and the news media.
In January 1969, Allott was elected Republican Policy Committee Chairman, just as Richard Nixon was coming into office as president. Gordon Allott had a reputation as “a master of legislative procedure.” Studious and reserved, he arrived at decisions methodically and maintained them persistently. Allott devoted considerable attention to building a strong national defense. During the 1960s, he supported President Johnson on the war in Vietnam while opposing most of Johnson’s Great Society legislation. The columnist George Will, who once worked for Allott on the Policy Committee staff, referred to the “stolid Westernness of Allott’s policies and personality.” Allott sought to make a change where the Republican Policy Committee should be “in every possible accord” with President Nixon’s policies. Chairman Allott called on Republican senators to stand with President Nixon “because, as he will not and cannot be separated from us, neither can we, nor will we be separated from him” in upcoming elections. The minutes of the meeting noted that all of the senators present participated in the ensuing discussions and were “very frank in their opinions.”
Gordon Allott lost his bid for a fourth term, which would have left him the Senate's senior Republican. His term in the U.S. Senate ended on January 3, 1973. After leaving office, he served on an advisory committee to the Interior Department during the Reagan administration.
The Greater Pueblo Sports Association established the Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame in 1972 in order to honor great sportsmen from Pueblo. Gordon Allott was inducted with the Class of 1974 into this hall of fame.
The Freedoms Foundation talked to Gordon Allott about what freedom meant to him. Here is what his response was.
"Our Enemies call tyranny freedom. The immoral call lawlessness freedom. The weak call license freedom. In truth, freedom is so important a word that its very existence provokes a challenge to misuse by its detractors. Yet its true meaning, refined through the actions of every responsible individual, remains undistorted and unchanged through the centuries.
Mindful of our own lives, we must be eternally vigilant against trading freedom for spiritual, material, mental or physical slavery. Only when we fully realize that freedom must be forever deserved and preserved will we resolve never to say it for granted."
The Allott family moved to Englewood, Colorado after their years in Washington, D. C. Gordon Allott died of cancer on January 17, 1989 at the age of 82. He died in Englewood, Colorado, near Denver. He was buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. His obituary follows.
“Former Sen. Gordon Allott Dies. Colorado Native Called ‘Favorite Elder Statesman.”
ENGLEWOOD – Former U. S. Sen. Gordon Allott, a native Coloradan who served 18 years in the Senate until his defeat in 1972, died of cancer Tuesday at Swedish Medical Center. He was 82.
Allott died at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday. Hospital spokeswoman Beverly Jacobsen said Allott was admitted to the hospital Dec. 27 and then transferred to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital for a time. He returned to Swedish on Monday, Jacobsen said.
The funeral was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Christ Episcopal Church in Denver.
Allott, a Republican, held public office for much of his adult life, culminating in his three terms in the U. S. Senate from 1955 to 1973. He was thwarted in his bid for a fourth Senate term by Democrat Floyd Haskell in the 1972 general election. He had made his home in Englewood in recent years.
Born in Pueblo on Jan. 2, 1907, Allott graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1927 and from the CU law school in 1929.
In 1930, he moved to Lamar, where he practiced law and became Prowers County attorney, serving in that capacity during 1934 and from 1941-46. He also was Lamar city attorney from 1937-41 and director of the First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Lamar from 1934-60.
During World War II, Allott was a major in the Army Air Corps. Afterward he served as district attorney of the 15th Judicial District from 1946-48.
Allott was Colorado’s lieutenant governor from 1951-55, when he also served as vice chairman of the state Board of Parole.
He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1954 and re-elected in 1960 and 1966.
Haskell, a Republican who joined the Democratic Party because of his feelings about the Vietnam War, defeated Allott in his re-election bid for a fourth term in 1972.
During his tenure in the Senate, Allott served on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Interior Committee, where he was directly involved in water, resource and Indian affairs. After leaving office, he served on an advisory committee to the Interior Department during the Reagan administration.
U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colorado Springs, said he was “very saddened” by the news of Allott’s death. He described it as a “deep personal loss and a loss to the state of Colorado.”
“He rose higher than anyone we’ve sent to Washington in many years, maybe ever,” Hefley said. “I regarded him as our favorite elder statesman.”
Allott was a role model for young politicians, Hefley said, recalling his own days in state government. “Here was a guy of great integrity at a time when I got into politics, at the tail end of Watergate,” he said.
“He was a guy who had been down the road in the state Legislature, who had been in congressional office,” Hefley said. “He was not far from the state office when I was in the state Capitol, so it was easy to run over.”
Allott came to Hefley’s aid during his campaign for the U.S. House. “When my predecessor decided to challenge me a year ago, Gordon Allott – without my asking – contacted me to ask what I can do to help, and that kind of support meant a lot.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, R-Colo., called Allott “a personal friend and mentor whom I shall greatly miss.” Armstrong said Allott was “one of the most outstanding public servants in the history of Colorado. He was a senator’s senator and was enormously respected by his colleagues. In terms of his accomplishments for Colorado, he was a leader of rare distinction.
U.S. Rep. Hank Brown, R-Colo., said Allott was “a great public servant. His All-American achievements in athletics were matched by a distinguished career at both state and federal level.”
On May 15, 1934, Allott married the former Welda Hall, who survives, along with two sons, Roger of Aurora and Gordon Jr. of Littleton, and three grandchildren.”
Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, Wednesday, January 18, 1989
Gordon Allott’s death was mourned nationwide. The U.S. Senate read the following statements and had them made a part of public record.
Death of Former Senator Gordon Allott
Mr. Dole: Mr. President. It is with great sorrow that I announce to the Senate the passing of a former colleague, Senator Gordon Allott, of Colorado, who passed away Tuesday of this week. Our distinguished colleague, Senator Bill Armstrong, is absent today attending the funeral.
(By request of Mr. Dole, the following statement was ordered to be printed in the Record.)
A Senator’s Senator
Mr. Armstrong: Mr. President, this Tuesday Colorado and the Nation lost a man who was for me both a personal friend and a mentor. He was truly a Senator's Senator. Gordon Allott passed away this Tuesday and he will be greatly missed.
Funeral services are being held this Friday in Colorado. I will be there and of course will be expressing sympathy from all of us to Gordon's wife, Welda; his two sons Roger and Gordon, and the rest of the Allott family. But I know the Senate will also wish to take note of his passing and have asked that these remarks be placed in the Record.
We often hear the words "public servant," but I am not sure we always know what that means. For a fitting example, look no further than the life of Gordon Allott. County and city attorney; Army Air Force officer in World War II; district attorney; Colorado Lieutenant Governor; and three-term Member of the U.S. Senate. In the Senate Allott served on the Appropriations and Interior Committees. He was also chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, the post I now hold. He promoted the interests of our State and of the country in a quiet, firm way. We admired his skill as a legislator, his foresight in planning for Colorado's future needs, his personal and public integrity.
Those qualities gave a generation of young men and women in Colorado an example to follow. And that, I think, is Gordon Allott's real legacy. He recruited talented young people; gave many their first start in politics and government; inspired others to become active in their own community. There are many graduates from the Gordon Allott school of public service--some with names of national prominence: others not as well known, but serving with the same dignity and conviction so characteristic of Senator Gordon Allott.
Colorado is truly a wonderful State. For those of us who live there and others who visit, it is so easy to see how our State inspired the words for the song "America the Beautiful." But, as Teddy Roosevelt once observed, Colorado's true wealth is not in our natural resources, not in our mountains, but in our people. Allott was still a young child when Roosevelt said that in a speech in Pueblo, CO; but, he must have had citizens like Gordon Allott in mind. I know I do.
Welda continued to live in the Denver area until her death on February 26, 2001. She died in her sleep at age 92. Her obituary was carried in a number of newspapers. Several of them follow, including the one from the Pueblo, Colorado newspaper.
“Welda Allott, Wife of Former Senator, Dies,” by Dennis Darrow
Welda Allott, a Lamar native and the wife of the late U.S. Senator Gordon Allott, died Monday in Denver. She was 92.
Mrs. Allot became heavily involved in her hometown's political and civic activities following her marriage to Gordon Allott in 1934.
Gordon Allot began working as Prowers County Attorney in Lamar in 1934, then he became the area's district attorney in 1946 and went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1955 to1972. He died in1989.
Mrs. Allot, the former Welda Hall, moved to Lamar at age 4. After high school, she attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
n Lamar, she was active in politics, women's clubs, the Episcopal Church and civic projects, including serving as a volunteer at a state veterans hospital.
She also managed the Lamar community building. She also organized a group to sponsor and finance a traveling children's theater group to make routine visits to Lamar.
In Washington D.C., she was a past president of the Republican Congressional Wives Club and she also volunteered as a member of the Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit.
Part of her work included compiling a history of the Ladies Red Cross Unit.
Mrs. Allot is survived by their two sons, Roger of Aurora and Gordon Jr. of Castle Rock, along with three grandchildren.
The family requests contributions go to the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, 789 Sherman St., Suite 500, Denver, CO 80203.”
The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Colorado, Thursday, March 1, 2001
“Welda Allott, Red Cross Volunteer, Widow of Sen. Gordon Allott,” by Dawn Riley
Welda Hall Allott mingled with first ladies, ambassadors' wives, members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries during more than two decades in Washington, D.C.
She died in her sleep Monday in Denver. She was 92.
"She led a very interesting life," said her son, Gordon Allott Jr.
Mrs. Allott was the wife of the late Sen. Gordon Allott, R-Colo., who held office from 1955 to 1973. He died in 1989.
Mrs. Allott became familiar with first ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson and Pat Nixon while serving as a member of the Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit.
"Her greatest accomplishment was the work she did with Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit - she loved the Red Cross part of it," said Allott Jr.
Mrs. Allott was also an active member and past president of the Republican Congressional Wives Club and a member of the International Club, whose members are chosen from the wives of ambassadors, Cabinet members, members of Congress and the news media.
Mrs. Allott was born Welda Hall on Sept. 13, 1908, in Arkansas City, Kan.
When she was 4 years old, her family moved to Lamar, where she met her future husband. They married May 15, 1934.
She attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and the University of Wyoming in Laramie where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma.
She was active in the Episcopal Church, the public schools, Cub and Boy Scouts, city affairs and local politics.
She volunteered at the Veterans Hospital and was the only woman appointed by the Lamar City Council to the board that managed and ran the town's new community building.
Mrs. Allott is survived by sons Roger Hall Allott of Aurora and Gordon Llewellyn Allott Jr. of Castle Rock; and three grandchildren.
The funeral will be at St. Michael & All Angels' Church, 1400 S. University Blvd., at 2 p.m. Friday.
Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, March 1, 2001
The legacy of Gordon and Welda Allott lives on. They opened up a scholarship fund at the University of Colorado School of Law as part of their long-standing interest in the development and conservation of natural resources. The scholarship is awarded annually to a second or third-year student who demonstrates a strong interest in natural resources law, demonstrates academic achievement and financial need, and is employed as a research assistant on a natural resources law project at the School of Law during the year. It is appropriately called the Gordon and Welda Allott Scholarship.
1. Federal census records from 1910, 1920, and 1930 from Pueblo County, Colorado.
2. “Allott, Gordon Llewellyn (1907 – 1989), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, provided online at http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=a000161.
3. Gordon Allott, University of Colorado (CU) Distinguished Alumni Virtual Tour, provided online by the CU Heritage Center at http://www.cualum.org/heritage/virtual_tour/hall_alumni.html.
4. “Colorado Marriages, 1858 – 1939,” an index compiled by the Denver Public Library in conjunction with the Colorado Genealogical Society in 2004.
5. “Allott, Gordon Llewellyn,” Colorado State Archives, Lieutenant Governors, provided online at http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/offic/ltgov.html#Allott.
6. “Allott Seeking Another 6 Years,” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, November 4, 1962.
7. “Life on the Senate Staff,” interview conducted on March 1, 1983 with Stewart E. McClure, Chief Clerk, Senate Committee on Labor, Education, and Public Welfare, provided online at http://toncul.org/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/McClure5.pdf.
8. Excerpt from interview of Jerry T. Verkler, Staff Director, Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, 1963 – 1974, conducted by Donald A. Ritchie on February 3, 1992, United States Historical Office – Oral History Project, provided online at http://www.johnston.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/verkler_interview_3.pdf.
9. “Norm Coleman for President???,” by Jude Wanniski, at LewRockwell.com, provided online at http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski81.html.
10. Gordon Allott Collection, from “A Guide to Manuscript Collections,” Sixth Edition, compiled by Kathryn Holt in 2005, University of Colorado, University Library Archives, provided online at http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/archives/guides/manuscript2005.pdf.
11. “Perpetual Motion Machine – Joseph Blake is the Dynamo Driving the Chamber of Commerce,” by John Rebchook, Rocky Mountain News, April 9, 2005.
12. “Meeting the Challenge, (1969 – 1984),” A History of the U. S. Senate, Chapter 4, provided online at http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/repub_policy/pdf/07Ch4.pdf.
13. 1966 inductees to the NCAA U.S. Senate Salute, provided online at http://www.ncaa.org/awards/honors_program/other/senate_salute.html.
14. Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame, Class of 1974, from the Pueblo Guidebook 2006, provided online at http://www.puebloguidebook.com/articles/index/articles/11.
15. “Colorado Senator Helped Columnist Get Foot in Door,” by Mike McPhee, Denver Post Staff Writer, Denver Post.com, article launched on April 3, 2006, provided online at http://www.denverpost.com/search//ci_3666217.
16. “Freedom from Senator Gordon Allott,” Lincoln Logs website, “Politics & Life from a step to the right,” provided online at http://lincolnlogs.blogspirit.com/freedom/.
17. “Former Sen. Gordon Allott Dies. Colorado Native Called ‘Favorite Elder Statesman,” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, Wednesday, January 18, 1989.
18. “Death of Former Senator Gordon Allott,” from the Congressional Record of the Senate, January 20, 1989, provided online at http://prop1.org/inaugur/89bush/890120b1.htm.
19. “They Made a Difference,” “1900 – 2000, Our Past Century,” by Gayle Perez, The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Pueblo County, Colorado, Monday, July 26, 1999.
20. Social Security Death Index (SSDI) entry for Welda H. Allott, provided online at http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/.
21. “Welda Allott, Red Cross Volunteer, Widow of Sen. Gordon Allott,” by Dawn Riley, Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, March 1, 2001.
22. “Welda Allot, Wife of Former Senator, Dies,” by Dennis Darrow, The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Colorado, Thursday, March 1, 2001.
23. “The Gordon & Welda Allott Scholarship,” University of Colorado School of Law, Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Fellowships, provided online at http://www.colorado.edu/Law/financialaid/needmerit.htm.
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