Arthur Francis Allen (1867-1949) was born in Warren, Illinois. The family moved to Nebraska when Allen was fourteen years old. He attended the University of Nebraska for a year before quitting to learn the printers trade. He apprenticed with the Daily Herald in Fremont, Nebraska, and later with the Tribune. In 1885, Allen found work with the Cedar Rapids Daily Gazette as a typesetter. He was admitted to membership in the Typographical Union in Omaha at the age of nineteen, and from 1887 to 1890 he worked as a journeyman printer in Omaha and the surrounding area.
Allen first began working for the Sioux City Journal in 1889. He moved up the ladder through a number of positions including telegraph news editor, city editor, and managing editor. In 1914, Frank Allen became the paper's editor-in-chief. He remained in that position until his death at age eighty-one.
Although Allen's principal interest was always the newspaper business, he did serve in the army and was a member of the National Guard. Outside of his profession he was involved in amateur photography, music, travel, the outdoors, and birds. He studied and wrote about birds and was a member of the Sioux City Bird Club.