Mark E. Allen was raised on a farm in Malone Township, Illinois, and his family continues to farm in the Illinois counties of Tazewell, Piatt, and Mason. Mark became the fourth generation of the Allen family to graduate with a degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois, receiving the C.J. Elliott Award for outstanding senior in agricultural economics and being one of the 100 seniors honored for academics and activities. Mark graduated from law school at Washington University of St. Louis, receiving the American Jurisprudence Award in criminal law, and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1975. He was an Assistant States Attorney for Vermilion County, Danville, Illinois, for two years, and was the civil attorney for Vermilion County in the second year, returning to his home town to practice in 1977. That year, Mark joined Culbertson and Allen, which became Culbertson, Culbertson, and Allen when Mark became a partner in 1980.
Mark is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and agricultural honoraries Alpha Zeta and Gamma Sigma Delta, and is a member and past president of Delavan Rotary, as well as a member and past president of the Tazewell County Bar Association. He has been commended by the Illinois State Bar Association for a successful pro bono appeal in a criminal case, and while serving as president of the Tazewell County Bar Association initiated a People’s Law School in Tazewell County.
Mark was married to the former Linda Kesler of Fisher, Illinois, in 1974. Their three children, Lucas, Laura Beth, and Matthew, are fifth generation graduates of the University of Illinois, Matthew with a fifth generation degree in ACES, the successor college to the College of Agriculture. Lucas works as a data scientist and is married to Kathleen. They have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah. Laura Beth is an elementary teacher at Illini Central C.U.S.D. in Mason City and is married to Elliot. They have a daughter Eliza and son Leland. Matthew is a banker with First Farmers State Bank of Minier and Delavan, Illinois and is married to Lisa. After the children were reared, Linda returned to teaching Spanish, and has recently retired.