Henry Wilson Allen

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Henry Wilson Allen
Born (1912-09-12)September 12, 1912
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Died October 26, 1991(1991-10-26) (aged 79)
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Occupation Writer, Screenwriter
Genres Western fiction

Henry Wilson Allen (September 12, 1912 – October 26, 1991) was an American author and screenwriter. He used several different pseudonyms for his works. His 50+ novels of the American West were published under the pen names Will Henry and Clay Fisher. Allen's screenplays and scripts for animated shorts were credited to Heck Allen and Henry Allen.


Henry Wilson Allen was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Before he began his writing career he worked variously as a stablehand, shop clerk, and gold miner.[1] In 1937 he began working as a contract screenwriter for MGM animation division. While his early work was for Harman and Ising's "Barney Bear" series, his longest collaboration was with director Tex Avery. Allen was credited as story artist on many classic Avery shorts, included Swing Shift Cinderella, King-Size Canary, and The First Bad Man, among many others. Allen downplayed his contributions to the shorts, claiming that Avery merely used him as a sounding board for his own ideas.[2]

Allen's career as a novelist began in 1952, with the publication of his first Western No Survivors. Allen, afraid that the studio would disapprove of his moonlighting, used a pen-name to avoid trouble.[3] He would go on to publish over 50 novels, eight of which were adapted for the screen. Most of these were published under one or the other of the pseudonyms Will Henry and Clay Fisher. Allen was a five-time winner of the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and a recipient of the Levi Strauss Award for lifetime achievement.

Allen died of pneumonia on October 26, 1991 in Van Nuys, California. He was 79.

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • No Survivors, 1952
  • Santa Fe Passage, 1952
  • Death of a Legend, 1954
  • The Tall Men, 1954 (filmed as The Tall Men, 1955)
  • The Big Pasture, 1955
  • To Follow a Flag, 1955 (republished as Pillars of the Sky)
  • Who Rides with Wyatt, 1955 (filmed as Young Billy Young, 1969)
  • Red Brother and White, 1955
  • The Fourth Horseman, 1956
  • The North Star, 1956 (filmed as Tashunga (also released as The North Star)), 1996)
  • The Texas Rangers, 1957
  • Yellowstone Kelly, 1958 (Yellowstone Kelly, filmed in 1959)
  • From Where the Sun Now Stands, 1959
  • Journey to Shiloh, 1960 (Journey to Shiloh, filmed in 1968)
  • The Seven Men at Mimbres Springs, 1960
  • The Feleen Brand, 1962
  • MacKenna's Gold, 1963 (filmed as Mackenna's Gold, 1969)
  • In the Land of the Mandans, 1965
  • The Gates of the Mountains, 1966 (Spur Award winner)
  • The Last Warpath, 1967
  • Alias Butch Cassidy, 1967
  • Custer's Last Stand: The Story of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, 1968
  • One More River to Cross, 1968
  • Sons of the Western frontier, 1968
  • Genesis Five, 1968
  • Outlaws and Legends, 1969
  • Maheo's Children: The Legend of Little Dried River, 1970
  • Starbuck, 1972
  • Chiricahua, 1973 (Spur Award winner)
  • The Bear Paw Horse, 1974
  • The Raiders, 1974
  • Sex and Pain, 1975
  • I, Tom Horn, 1976
  • From Where the Twilight Zone, 1976
  • Summer of the Gun, 1978
  • The Squaw Killer, 1983
  • The Ballad of Billy Bonney, 1984
  • The Day Fort Larking Fell, 1988
  • Reckoning at Yankee Flat, 1989
  • Pillars of the Sky, 1991 (originally published as To Follow a Flag)
  • Frontier Fury, 1992
  • San Juan Hill, 1996
  • The Crossing, 1996
  • Jesse James: Death of a Legend, 1996
  • The Hunting of Tom Horn, 1999
  • Custer, 1999
  • The Legend of Sotoju Mountain, 2004
  • Winter Shadows, 2003
  • The Hunkpapa Scout, 2004
  • The Scout, 2005
  • Medicine Road, 2006
  • Black Apache, 2006
  • Blind Canon, 2007

Attributed quotes[edit]

  • Further specificity, citation or even debunking (of course) welcomed

“The wishbone will never replace the backbone.”[4]


  1. ^ "Finding Aid for the Henry Wilson Allen Papers, 1955-1985". Online Archive of California website. Retrieved 21 March 2007. 
  2. ^ "Oh, Heck!". Something Old Nothing new blog. Retrieved 21 March 2007. 
  3. ^ "Today's Trivia". Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine website. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 21 March 2007. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Todd, "Pick a Side or Stand Aside", Minyanville, November 16, 2011 8:00 am. Retrieved 2011-11-16.

External links[edit]