Marshall County

ALLEN, Owen W.

Owen W. ALLEN, although now living in Henry, is still the owner of valuable farming property comprising three hundred and ninety acres in Putnam county. He was born in Putnam county, Illinois, in 1851 and is a son of James and Rosanna (CASSELL) ALLEN, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The father was of Irish lineage and came to Illinois about 1845, settling in Putnam county upon a farm. He was accompanied by his family, consisting of wife and three children, and he carried on general agricultural pursuits, becoming a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser of that community. An earnest Christian gentleman, he held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, was one of its officers and one of its most active and influential workers. His political views were in accord with the principles of the republican party. By his friends and neighbors he was usually known by the term of uncle, which indicates the love and esteem which were entertained for him by all who knew him. He died in 1886 at the age of seventy-one years and left his family a most honored name. His wife survived him until 1890 and passed away at the age of seventy-four years. She was of German lineage and was a daughter of William CASSELL, one of the heroes of the Revolutionary war. Her Christian faith was manifest in her membership in the Wesleyan Methodist church. She became the mother of eight children. Margaret, who married William REYNOLDS, a school teacher and grain merchant, died in 1861. William has also passed away. Jane is the wife of Joseph UMBARGER, a retired farmer living in Melvin, Ford county, Illinois. Eliza is the wife of George FORNEY, also a retired farmer of Ford county. Angeline is deceased. Owen W. is the next of the family. Nellie became the wife of Anthony CHANCE and has passed away. Cora married Samuel EBERLY, a music teacher, who is also deceased.

Owen W. ALLEN was reared to farm life and attended the district schools, supplementing his early educational privileges by later study in the schools of Hennepin. Throughout his active business career he was always a farmer and he is still the owner of a valuable tract of land of three hundred and ninety acres in Magnolia and Hennepin townships in Putnam county. There he was engaged extensively in raising thoroughbred stock, making a specialty of hogs and cattle, conducting a large business in that line, which brought to him a goodly measure of prosperity and at length, content with the competence that he had secured, he retired from the farm, took up his abode in Henry, where he is now living in a beautiful home, enjoying life and its comforts.

In 1873 Mr. ALLEN was married to Miss Mary J. EDWARDS, who was born in Putnam county, Illinois, in 1853, a daughter of William and Mary EDWARDS and pioneer settlers of Putnam county, where they took up their abode about the time of the Black Hawk war, entering land from the government. Mr. EDWARDS added to his possessions from time to time until he owned four hundred acres and he was regarded as one of the men of affluence of his day and stood very high in the esteem of his friends and neighbors. He was of a Quaker family and his political faith was that of the whig party until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the new republican party. He died in 1872 at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife was Mary WILEY and they had seven children, of whom they reared six to adult age. George, born in Putnam county, April 22, 1838, removed to Tama county, Iowa, in 1869 and served there as clerk of the district court for two terms. He died March 7, 1896. Harrison, a resident farmer of Putnam county, Illinois, is highly esteemed by all who know him, and deals very extensively in thoroughbred hogs. Joseph A., who was born in Putnam county, September 1, 1845, and died in 1898, was reared to farm life and in 1864 enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company B, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war. He was graduated from the law department of the Iowa State University in 1873 and practiced law in Iowa City, Iowa, being very successful in his profession. He also became a lecturer in the law department of his alma mater. Prominent in political circles, he was chairman of the republican county central committee, was city solicitor and one of the compilers of the city ordinances. In 1897 he was elected to the upper house of the Iowa legislature and was therefore a member at the time of his demise. Anna EDWARDS, the fourth member of the family, married Hiram DUNBAR and they had two daughters, Mrs. Mattie ALLEMAN of Putnam county, and Mrs. Rena FOSTER of De Pue, Illinois. Her second husband is William CASSELL, of Putnam county, and they have three children – Peoria Rowe, Bessie and Harry CASSELL. Luella Edwards became the wife of William EISENHOUER, a farmer, and died in November, 1903, at the age of fifty-six years. The next member of the family is Mrs. ALLEN, and the other died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. ALLEN have had no children of their own but have been very generous in providing for the support of others. They hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and exemplify their faith in their daily works and in their relations with their fellowmen. Mr. ALLEN is a republican with firm faith in the principles of the party, and in matters of citizenship he is public spirited and loyal. He has found in an active and honorable business career that success is ambition’s answer.

Extracted 10 May 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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