Allen McReynolds, II was the son of Samuel and Helen Halliburton McReynolds, born in Carthage on November 7, 1877. His father was an attorney, and after graduating from Carthage High School, Allen went to the University of Missouri, Columbia, and came home to practice law with his father.
He was always civic minded and soon sat on and headed many boards. He was a long time member of the Carthage Road District, President of Rotary, chairman of the committee that oversaw the construction of Memorial Hall and President of The Jasper County Bar. He was General Counsel for Southwest Mo. Electric Railway Co., the Joplin Globe Publishing Co., Smith Brothers Manufacturing, Carthage Marble and Missouri Pacific Railroad. He served on the boards of five banks as well. He was president of the Board of Curators at the University of Missouri for four years and McReynolds Hall was named in his honor in 1958.
He became active in State politics and was elected Senator for the 28th district in 1934 on the Democratic ticket, and served eight years. This led to his being the chair of the social security commission, and the children’s code commission. He authored several bills, one giving preference to Missouri industries and another revising the old age pension law. Long known as an authority of the United States Constitution, he helped write the Missouri Constitution in 1945 that is still the basic law of the state today. He broke up political bossism in Missouri and cleaned up State government. He failed in an attempt to be Missouri’s Governor in 1940, and many said it was Missouri’s great loss.
His love of history led him to be involved with the Missouri Historical Society and being its President and this led to the preservation of many artifacts for future generations. Due to his service Missouri has one of the finest Historical Societies in the United States.
He had married Maude Atwood Clarke on November 11, 1906 and they became the parents of Elizabeth and Allen III (Jr).
He died at age 83 in McCune-Brooks Hospital, which he helped build, on September 29, 1960. At that time The Joplin Globe stated that he “was one of the truly great Missourians of his time. Probably no man in this century served this state so ably in so many capacities”. His legacy is still felt today throughout the State of Missouri.