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Allred family papers

Identifier: MS-0428

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This collection features materials from members of the Allred family, a Russian-American family, documenting life in the international city of Harbin as it shifted from Russian to Chinese control, and the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Materials range in date from 1900 to 2003, and include correspondence, a diary, official documents, printed material, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1900-2003


Language of Materials

Chiefly in English with some Russian and Chinese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical note on Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Tseplatkina and her son William were Russian citizens living in China when she met and married Carter S. Allred, a U.S. Navy serviceman stationed in Hankow.

Alexandra was born in Harbin, the provincial capital of Russian Manchuria, on March 13, 1910. She had two sisters, Elena, who was younger, and Varvara, who was older. She married Nikolai Simakoff in 1929, and they had one son, Boris (whose name was changed to "William" upon his adoption by Carter Allred). Alexandra and her son moved to Hankow where she met her second husband, Carter Allred. They were married on March 18, 1939.

In July 1941, Alexandra and William left China for Long Beach, California. Carter was unable to join them as he had been recalled to active duty and was later taken prisoner by the Japanese. Alexandra began working for the General Telephone offices in Long Beach. Carter moved back in after his release from a military hospital following his years as a prisoner of war. Sometime between 1948 and 1952, Alexandra and Carter separated and Alexandra relocated to Santa Monica, California, to work at the G.T.E. office there until her retirement in 1975. As Carter's health deteriorated, Alexandra took an active role in taking care of him until his death in 1976.

By 1980, Alexandra had begun to show early signs of Alzheimer's disease. William moved her to a house he had built on the same lot where he lived with his wife. From 1997 onwards, Alexandra lived in assisted living and nursing home facilities. She died on June 12, 2002 and was buried next to her husband at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Biographical note on William Allred

William Allred was born Boris Simakoff in Harbin, Manchuria, in 1929. Following his parents' divorce, William moved with his mother to Hankow, China in 1938. After marrying Alexandra, Carter Allred adopted Boris, christening him William Allred. In June, 1941 he and Alexandra moved to Long Beach, California, where he graduated from Polytechnic High School in 1945. He served in the U.S. Airforce from 1948 to1952, and received an honorable discharge.

After earning his bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in 1956, William held several jobs over the next few years, including employment overseas in Germany and Sweden. In 1962, he began working for the Federal Housing Administration as an appraiser and a review appraiser. On September 2, 1975, he married Patricia Brockbank in Kuai, Hawaii. William continued to work for FHA-HUD until his retirement in 1990. Once Alexandra's health began to deteriorate William took care of her physical, legal, and financial well being until she passed away in 2002.

Biographical note on Carter S. Allred

Carter S. Allred was born in Odessa, Missouri on August 19, 1897. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 14, 1917, was discharged September 1, 1920, and re-enlisted November 7, 1921. In the 1930s he was stationed in Hankow, China, where he met and married Alexandra and adopted her son, Boris, and had him christened William Allred. Carter was transferred to fleet reserve December 1, 1938, and worked briefly as a civilian before being recalled to active duty on October 12, 1940. Conditions were deteriorating in China and Alexandra and William left for the United States in June,1941. Carter was taken prisoner by the Japanese in December, 1941 and remained a P.O.W. until the end of the war. He described his experiences in a 1947 affidavit on his mistreatment in the camp.

After his return to the United States, Carter remained in a medical facility for six months for treatment and observation. Following his release, he moved in with Alexandra in Long Beach. His active service with the Navy was terminated in August, 1947 due to budget constraints, and he received an Honorable Discharge. Carter and Alexandra separated sometime between 1948 and 1952.

Between 1951 and 1958, Carter worked at Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California, as a buffer polisher. His health began to deteriorate after he was hospitalized with pneumonia in 1960. Alexandra helped locate and buy a home for him in Apple Valley, Ca. where Carter retired and lived until he was hospitalized with bladder obstruction in 1975. Carter passed away in September, 1976 and was laid to rest at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery.


4.09 Cubic Feet (1 record center carton, 4 legal size document boxes, 1 legal half-size document box, 1 flat box (21 x 17 x 3.5 inches))


The collection was donated in 2003 by William Allred, son of Alexandra Allred, and adopted son of Carter Allred.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by David Roelof in 2003.

William Alfred papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA