About the Allen Memorial Planetarium
Dr. Orris Allen was born in Brocton, Illinois, in 1879. He taught in the Brockton Elementary School and attended Charleston Normal College, the University of Illinois, and Northwestern University where he graduated from the college of Medicine in 1909. He practiced medicine in Ashmore, Illinois, for ten years before he moved to Terre Haute in 1929. During the 43 years he practiced in Terre Haute as an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, he was always involved with young people and their activities. Although he retired from active practice in June, 1963, he never retired from his many civic activities. He read widely not only in the fields of medicine and science, but also in philosophy and the humanities. He worked always to promote education and enlightenment. Dr. Allen died in 1964 at the age of 85.
The Allen Memorial Planetarium was built in 1971 when South Vigo High School was built. The Planetarium serves as a memorial to Dr. Allen’s love of young people and their education as well as a memorial to his son. In 1930 Dr Allen’s son, Bernard O. Allen, died in a tragic airplane crash near the current site of the Planetarium, then the Paul Cox Airport.
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