Local businessman Allyn dies at 89

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Took over family jewelry shop, Allyn’s Jewelers, in 1984

The City of Ironton is saying good-bye to a man who was a fixture in the downtown business community for decades.

Tom Allyn, owner of Allyn’s Jewelers, died June 26 at age 89.

Email newsletter signup

He was the second-generation owner of the shop, founded by his parents, Harold Ted and Martha Allyn in 1930. Its 93 years in operation is more than half of the city’s existence.

Tom Allyn began working in the shop under his father in 1950, moving back from Columbus. Within six years, he was a certified gemologist.

He took over ownership of the store, located at 502 S. 2nd St., in 1984, following his father’s death.

In a 2014 interview for The Tribune’s Profile magazine, he recalled how things had changed for the business over the years, going from watches as the hot item in the early decades, to firefly jewelry in the last years.

He also remembered watching his parents working to protect merchandise when downtown would see high waters before the construction of the city’s flood wall.

“I could remember, I was just a little boy, they would come in and take all the cases and put them upstairs so the flood wouldn’t get them,” he said. “The water would be 5 or 6 feet in the store.”

Over the course of its history, the shop changed locations, moving from its original home on Center Street, where Wendy’s is now located, to a storefront on Third Street and Park Avenue in 1954, before arriving at its current location.

Allyn attributed the success of the shop to its reputation it got from word of mouth and the multi-generation families of customers over its history.

“I always said we were in the white wall tire business,” Allyn said in the 2014 interview. “These are not things that most people need but it’s a little of the balm, spice and honey. Most of the people, when they are buying, they are happy. We try to make sure they stay happy.”

Ironton Mayor Samuel Cramblit II said he “really enjoyed getting to know” Allyn in his time as mayor and from the Elks Lodge, where the jeweler was a regular.

“He would share his stories of his years in the Ironton business community,” Cramblit said. “I really enjoyed his company.”

Cramblit was joined in remembering Allyn by Mark Stantebeck.

“He was a great, great friend of mine,” he said, noting that he met Allyn first through his father.

Stantebeck said he recalled Allyn helping him out as a teen when he was out of work, giving him a job painting some rental properties.

Stantebeck said Allyn told him to paint everything white…. directions he took a little too literally, applying paint to everything in the homes, down to the linoleum.

“He came in and said, ‘What are you doing?!?’” Stantebeck recalled with a laugh.

He recalled Allyn for his friendship and his sense of humor.

“He was the king of the one liners,” Stantebeck said.

Allyn was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Carol.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Tracy Brammer Funeral Home, located at 518 S. 6th St. in Ironton, with Pastor Carson Hunt officiating. Visitation for friends and family will be 1 p.m. until time of the service at the funeral home on Sunday.