Marshall County

OWEN, Timothy & Roderick

Timothy and Roderick OWEN, who were among the first settlers of Marshall county, Illinois, were born in Wyndham county, Connecticut, in the years 1799 and 1803, respectively, and were the sons of Amasa and Keziah (DANA) OWEN, who were also born and reared in that state, their forefathers having emigrated from the countries of Wales and Scotland, respectively, in the early part of the eighteenth century. In 1816, Amasa OWEN removed from Connecticut to Scioto county, Ohio, with his family where he settled upon a farm and lived until 1832. In the early summer of that year, Timothy and Roderick, who had engaged for some years at their trades of wagon-making and blacksmithing at the furnaces and foundries about Portsmouth, Ohio, resolved upon emigrating to Illinois, and with this resolution embarked upon a steamboat at Portsmouth with their wives and families of two and five children, respectively, and also their aged father and mother and three youngest sisters – Adaline, Emeline and Lucy.

They landed at Pekin, Illinois, on the day upon which the news reached that place of the defeat of General Stillman by the Black Hawk Indians of the Rock river in Illinois. This news, together with the flying rumors of depredations and massacres by the Indians of the white settlers, most of which subsequently proved untrue or exaggerated, which was then rife in that place, was creating terror and confusion among the settlers of that locality, to such a degree as to make it seem almost hazardous for them to remain. But as they had a brother, Jedediah, and a brother-in-law, Samuel HADLOCK, and sister, Eliza HADLOCK, who had come two years before, whom they expected to find at that locality, they resolved to stop there and risk their lives and fortunes among the settlers of that place. An incident connected with their arrival at Pekin and which conspired with the before mentioned surroundings to make it the more disheartening for them was that the first duty to be performed on their landing was to attend to the burial of one of the Roderick OWEN’s children which had died on the journey, their youngest child, a daughter of a few months and whom they had named Juliette. After attending to this solemn and to them memorable duty, and making the best preparations the situation and surrounding would permit for the comfort of their parents and families for a temporary sojourn they started out to find the whereabouts of Jedediah OWEN and Samuel HADLOCK whom they soon found by dint of search and inquiry, comfortably and quietly located and domiciled in log cabins and in a sea of tall prairie grass, at the eastern edge of what was then called Pleasant Grove, about nine miles east of Pekin.

Welcomes and congratulations over, a short relation of the situation of the newcomers resulted in the fitting up of a couple of ox teams and wagons, and the removal of the newly arrived emigrants to Pleasant Grove, where they made their home most of the summer. The spectacle of the prairies as they then beheld them in their native wildness and beauty was so vast and seemingly illimitable, so new to them, and unlike anything they had ever seen before, as to fill them with awe and admiration, and it was only because of the plans they had formed before emigrating to this new country of building mills, that they were dissuaded from at once entering upon and building their homes in the vicinity of Pleasant Grove in Tazewell county. But as the mill enterprise was a fixed project with them and there being no stream of water in that vicinity suitable for the requirements of that enterprise they reluctantly left it for others to occupy.

This was really in the days of the beginning of the settlement of this portion of the state, and the cabins of the settlers were as yet at long distances and isolated from each other, and on the prairies one might travel for days without sighting the home of a white settler as it came to be a well-known fact that the first settlers of the country uniformly avoided the prairie and pitched their abodes along the lines of timber, even preferring to go a little back in the woods, to going any considerable distance out on the prairie, and it was not until all the lands adjacent to the timbered parts had been appropriated that the prairies were accepted for settlement. Pekin was then a place only known as a point on the Illinois river where steamboats landed, where there was one small “all round” store kept by a Mr. SNELL, one small tavern for the accommodation of comers and goers, and perhaps half a dozen other buildings, and where the city of Peoria now stands only Fort Clark and three or four other buildings were to be seen.

In the latter part of the summer of 1832, having found a suitable situation for the building of a mill on the stream called Crow Creek, about thirty miles north of where they were then stopping in Tazewell county, and then in Putnam county, now Marshall county, the OWEN brothers, as soon as they could, made the necessary preparations and moved their families thereto, which was in the fall of that year. The site of these mills was at a point on Crow Creek, where it emerges from the bluffs of the Illinois river into its bottom and about one and a quarter miles from where it empties into that river. There was at that time a few Indian wigwams on the lower portion of Crow Creek bottom and just north of the projected mill site, but their tenants were not of size or physique to excite apprehensions of danger as all of the stronger of the tribe or village were then in the field and contesting their claims to the occupancy of t Illinois territory, which as a result and a matter of history also, they were at about that period compelled to surrender forever and push across the Father of Waters. They were only seen by the settlers of this neighborhood after this in very small and straggling bands on the chase for deer or other game, and the settlers were never molested by them, only when they sometimes came to their cabins, in a spirit of peace and friendliness, begging for some favor, as salt, tobacco, fire-water or ammunition, as there was rarely a gun among them.

The first summer the OWEN family lived at Crow Creek mills, one morning when the men were all away from the house at work, the wife of Timothy OWEN was alone, excepting two small children. She was suddenly startled and surprised by seeing five pretty stalwart looking Indians with bows and arrows hung upon their shoulders at her cabin door, and some of them entering the house. She was terribly frightened but hardly had a chance to think of what was best to do as they were all talking among themselves and gesticulating and making all manner of queer signs. By which they at least succeeded in getting her to understand it was salt they wanted, which was very quickly given them, when they all left, nodding and muttering “good squaw,” and disappeared up the bluff back of the cabin like shadows, very much to her satisfaction and relief.

The first winter spent in Tazewell county by Jedediah OWEN and Samuel HADLOCK was one always remembered and talked about by the old settlers of that period on account of its great severity and the depth of its snows. Commencing early in November the snow storms came frequently, and some of them drifting until in December it had reached a depth of about five feet on the level, and the drifts about the groves of timber which were quite numerous in Tazewell county, it had piled up in great hills. It constituted almost an absolute barrier to travel of any ordinary kind and thus threatened the few inhabitants, who were at that day very scattering, with starvation. A few of the settlers had raised some patches of corn, but nearly all of that was still ungathered and now covered by snow, the tops of the stalks only to be seen, so  that in many instances they were compelled in order to save themselves and their live stock from starvation to “dig” their corn from day to day for several weeks and great was the suffering of both people and dumb brutes, a great many of the latter dying for want of shelter, food and water. Roads were actually shoveled and in some instances for miles, in order to reach water for the stock. Whole herds of cattle and swine were surrounded by drifts and perished. Every stratagem and contrivance was brought into requisition by the settlers who counciled and worked together for their common welfare. There was a little corn mill in the town of Tremont run by horse power where the inhabitants could get corn meal, but only in peck rations during the deep snow, but to get there they were compelled to shovel roads or go upon snow shoes, which had to be made, and in a good many instances narrow escapes from starvation were noted. Deer, then in herds in that locality, huddled together in groves and thickets where they were imprisoned by the drifts and perished in large numbers, their bones being found the following spring. Mr. HADLOCK was once one of a party of three who made an excavation through the drift into a thicket, where by chance they happened to know some deer were imprisoned, and where they found a dozen which they easily captured and killed.

While the OWEN brothers were living at Crow Creek mills, a very common way of their going to Columbia, now Lacon, on trading errands was by water in a skiff or canoe. They had a well-used path from the mills through the weedy bottom to a point on the creek about half way between the mills and the river, where they kept their creek and river craft tied up for use, that part of the creek above them being unnavigable and barred by driftwood. The river bottom at that time was a jungle of underbrush and high weeds and was infested with wild animals of different species, not the least numerous or ferocious being the wild hog – particularly was this so when disturbed or surprised and when collected in herds. Taking rather a late start one afternoon in the late fall, and with some uncanny apprehensions of his late return, Roderick OWEN pushed his skiff down the creek and up the river a distance of seven miles, with his best exertions, to Columbia. Finishing his errand, his return trip was made with his best speed, but before he had reached the mouth of Crow Creek darkness had set in. The sky had been overcast with clouds and the darkness was so dense that it was with great difficulty he succeeded in locating the mouth of Crow Creek, which he could not have done but for his knowledge of certain drift logs being about its mouth. Pushing up the creek a distance, he found his way so much retarded in the darkness by bends of the stream and drifts, which were easily enough avoided in the daylight, that he concluded to abandon the skiff and cut across the bend of the creek through the bottom on foot. Although he felt it to be a hazardous undertaking, subjecting him to the risk of getting lost or encountering sloughs or wild animals, he did so as the better alternative, as he found himself getting very chilly from the cold of the night and want of exercise after having been pretty well warmed up by rowing. So fastening his skiff he climbed up the bank of the creek and began to search and feel his way across the bottom. After working his way through the tangle of vines and stumbling over logs and other impediments innumerable for a considerable length of time, he was suddenly startled and terrorized at finding that he had stumbled upon a nest of wild hogs and that they were apparently all alive and very much awake and in the business state of mind. Instantaneously taking in the situation he wheeled and ran, as he used to put it, with “blind luck and without calculation” with the whole herd at his heels. Fortunately for him he ran right into a tree top in a very few steps, which he had recently chopped down, and upon which he climbed barely in time to save his life as he was very closely pursued by the hogs, that were thoroughly aroused, making the most deafening and hideous uproar. It was nearly morning, and after the moon had risen and the sky somewhat cleared up, that he ventured to leave the tree top and make his way home, which he reached just in time to save his family and friends the trouble of making a search for him.

The country was sparsely settled in the vicinity of the Crow Creek mills, or in fact in the whole territory now embraced in Woodford and Marshall counties as early as 1832, as became manifest by the opportunity afforded them by the mill, of being well posted upon this point, and also of making the acquaintance of nearly every settler within that region, or within forty miles of them in any direction. The site of the mills was a little short of a standing camping ground for several years, as its distant patrons and customers were generally compelled to stay over and “camp it” before they could return home with their grists. Many and diversified were the experiences of privations and dangers encountered by the early pioneers of our country which the citizens of to-day can feebly comprehend or appreciate. At present, where we find every available acre of land along the Illinois river bottom utilized to agriculture, was at the time of the settlement of the OWEN brothers on Crow Creek an interminable jungle of swampy marshes and covered with tangled brush and grass and gigantic weeds. There was but one settler’s cabin between Crow Creek and Columbia, it being the home of Jonathan BABB and family, who had emigrated from Ohio a year or so previously, and settled upon what is now section 14, Lacon township. Between this family and those of our subjects there sprang up a warm and lasting friendship that was only ended by death. Below them on the river bottom, also living within the distance of five miles, were three other families, those of James HUNTER, Henry SOWARDS and Dr. BARNEY, all of whom were always remembered and highly esteemed by them as neighbors. There were also two or three settlements made upon Crow Creek bottom at about this time or a little prior, only one of which we can speak with certainty as to day, that of Nathan OWEN, who belonged to another family of the same name, and who emigrated hither from Kentucky a year or so before, and settled upon and improved a large farm on the creek bottom about two miles above the mills, and upon the place at present owned and occupied by John BELSLEY, but still called by the old settlers, the Nathan Owen farm. The neighbors, though scattered, at that time were greatly disposed to friendship and sociability, visiting frequently at each other’s homes and recounting their varied experiences and adventures, and leaving a lingering remembrance of commingled pleasure and sadness of those days with each and all of them. This condition also prevailed in the first years of Timothy OWEN’s experience upon Round Prairie, which at the time of his removal thereto, in 1834, was only beginning to be settled, his house built in that year upon section 9, Richland township, being among the first few. It was the first frame house, being built of oak and walnut lumber of his own sawing. His neighbors there did not exceed a dozen, among whom were Colonel John STRAWN, who had emigrated from Ohio in 1829, and lived a mile and a half north of him; William BIRD, from Kentucky, who lived three-quarters of a mile south; Abraham KEEDY, Robert BIRD, John and James DEVER and Robert BARNES, all of whom had come between the years  1830 and 1835 and settled along the southern side of Round Prairie. These constituted the greater portion of its settlement at that date and also a neighborhood of the most useful, sturdy citizens and comradeship.

During the summer of 1833, the OWEN brothers completed their mills, both a flouring and saw mill, utilizing the same power for both. The flouring mill, to be sure, belonged to the primitive order and was of course a very diminutive concern as compared with the mills of our country at the present day, but it was nevertheless a mill, and a large one too, as compared with the mortar and pestle, which were still in common use among the early settlers, and in its capacity of supplying a great and much felt need of the times, as it did, and was warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated by the inhabitants, who came from far and near to get their flour and meal, as it was the only mill within a radius of thirty or forty miles. But this was only the beginning and what was afterward called the first edition of the Crow Creek mill, as three or four years afterward they were compelled, in order to supply the demands of the times, to enlarge and improve, doubling its former capacity. In the rebuilding of the mill they engaged the services of Joseph SAVAGE, a Frenchman, who had just arrived from France, and a miller by profession and experience. After being refitted up, the mill was kept running almost constantly for several years and received the grateful patronage of a wide radius of country. The saw mill was also crowded with work continually, there being a great demand for lumber in those days, and a saw mill was by no means a common thing. Some of the lumber sawed at this mill went to Peoria, where it was used in the frame buildings among the first put up at that place.

After having spent two years at the mills, an epoch in their lives always afterward referred to as having been fraught with experiences of hazard and danger to life, the OWEN brothers determined for various reasons, one being on account of the unhealthfulness of the place, to move from there with their families, which they did in the year 1835. Timothy went to a tract of land which he had entered previously on the southwestern edge of what was known as Round Prairie in Richland township, about seven miles distant from the Crow Creek mills, where he resided until the time of his death, which occurred May 3, 1886. Roderick removed to the town of Lacon, where he plied his strength and genius to the invention and manufacture of such implements, mechanical and agricultural as the needs of the times seemed to require. Timothy also, after moving to his prairie farm, built a shop which he carried on in addition to improving and cultivating his farm, which he always told his children he did, not so much with the view of deriving profit therefrom, as a desire to comply with the wishes and needs of his friends and neighbors, who were at a loss and inconvenience about getting their wagon and farm implements made or repaired.

The brothers were both men of that versatile genius and skill which was not to be confined to any particular trade or branch of mechanical art, but could adapt itself to the needs and demands of the times and it is only feeble justice to them to say they filled places, connected with the welfare of the people at those times, not to have easily been substituted. Many were the calls made upon them, upon their prompt execution depending the weal or woe of the party or parties interested and it was a pride and satisfaction to them in after years that they rarely failed in their undertakings. Anything from the construction of a bucket or barrel to a burial casket, or from a sled or cart to a complete brand new wagon, from the tree every part and parcel made by their own hands, was in the line of their common every-day experience. The mills, still owned by them, were by no means idle or neglected, but were leased to professional millers and kept going at their fullest capacity. In 1853, the flouring mill was again enlarged and doubled in capacity, and making it in every respect a modern and reputable mill of its day and age, and was then known and denominated as the third edition of the OWEN mill. From that time on it enjoyed a large patronage. But though it flourished for a while its career was destined to be a short one, as in the month of June, 1856, it became the victim of the incendiary’s spite, and was reduced to ashes, making a total loss to its owners as it was without insurance.

Timothy OWEN was identified in some capacity with a good many of he early public improvements of the town and county in which he resided. As a commissioner of highways he assisted in the survey and improvement of a good many of the first roads of the county, and to do which he was often compelled to go quite long distances from his home several days at a time, and of such trips he could relate many adventures and experiences, such as exposure to hunger and thirst, long journeys on horse back, sometimes having an exciting chase after a deer or wolf, getting lost or bewildered in finding his way home across the prairies after night, etc. As a trustee of schools, in which capacity he served for over twenty years, he assisted in the organization and starting of some of the first schools of Richland township, and for years his services were considered quite indispensable to the board, as he was among the few of those times who were competent to pass upon the qualifications of the teacher, that duty then devolving upon the board of trustees.

Roderick OWEN had already made a reputation as being an adept workman in steel, which made him very popular as a blacksmith. As a single instance of many showing his proficiency and his impromptu manner of disposing of difficult and unexpected jobs, we give the following, which was often related by the brothers and also by others who were conversant with it and who commented on it many years afterward from the fact that it was universally thought to have been impracticable: While they were at the Crow Creek mills and were crowded with sawing, as most everybody needed lumber, Timothy on starting the mill very early one cold, frosty morning, was very much taken back at seeing the saw, a large steel blade, fall broken in three pieces. This looked like a disastrous affair for them, as another saw could not be had short of St. Louis, which, with river navigation closed for the winter, meant to them a loss of several days, besides the great inconvenience to themselves of a journey to St. Louis overland, and the disappointment to those needing lumber, made it little short of a calamity. He called Roderick from his shop, who, after looking the pieces over carefully, said: “Well, Tim, as I can’t spoil the pieces I shall undertake to put them together,” and carrying them to his shop he went to work and in a short time had them so completely and perfectly united as to almost defy detection as to the fractured places. With some doubts and misgivings they carried it back and hung it in its place and started it, and to their surprise and delight found it was as good as ever. Now what brought this circumstance into notice at the time and caused it to be talked about and commented upon by men of mechanical bent and pretensions, was the important fact, for fact it was, that the fractures were both near the middle of the saw and altogether within the contact or business part of it.

Shortly after the time of Roderick OWEN’s removal to Lacon, the problem of the evolution of the plow began to engage and agitate the minds and muscles of at least two classes, the farmer and the architects in iron and steel, and was, as a matter of fact, one of the very foremost in its importance. The farmers had become thoroughly convinced that the thing heretofore known as the plow, was, when brought in contact with the rich, black and adhesive soil of the flat prairies of Illinois, simply a large and total failure, so much so in fact, that it became proverbial, that a man could find where he plowed the day before by setting stakes or land marks. It was plainly the fact that something original in design and peculiar in construction in the way of a plow must be devised to the end that the pursuit of agriculture might be made even tolerable or in any degree lucrative on the fertile prairies of Illinois. To devise and construct a plow that would possess every feature and quality considered requisite in that implement was the problem that at once engaged the mind and ambition of Roderick OWEN and for the successful accomplishment of which he subsequently became famous throughout the length and breadth of Illinois as the inventor and manufacturer of the Owen Center Draught Plow, and for which he also received the most grateful acknowledgements and considerations of his fellow-countrymen. He was also awarded the highest premium of the Illinois State Agricultural society for a number of years, and his son, John Q. A. OWEN, also received the highest premium of the Iowa State Agricultural society for a number of years for plows of the same pattern made by himself at Le Claire, Scott county, Iowa, along in the 50’s. It was about the year 1843, after many trials and experiments with it, that Roderick OWEN finally and fully completed his improvements upon this plow, and there are a few men still living at this writing that could be found who would subscribe to the facts concerning the merits of this plow, wherein it differed then from any other plow in existence in this country, or perhaps, in the world, and further more in its main and most important point to the perfection of that implement, and has never yet been but feebly imitated – that is to say in the important feature of perfect equilibrium. Early in his experiments with the plow he conceived the necessity of perfect equilibrium in the plow and a perfectly central application of draught. With this for the prime and fundamental idea, he made every other feature bend and subserve. Often while engaged in his experiments he was heard to express the determination never to stop short of a plow that would “go it without holding.” At last he finished up a plow which he sent to his brother with the instruction for wooding, and accompanying was the declaration that it would run clear round the field without being held, which sure enough to his surprise it did. Timothy OWEN was perfectly delighted with it and declared that “Brother Roderick” had at last accomplished his purpose. Although there were at that day some plows of pretty fair pattern, and thought to answer the purpose tolerably well, his was the first to approach perfection, and from that time on the best imitations of his plow were the next best plows. But the automatic principle which he invented and put into the plow, whereby it was made to keep its upright position while running and adjust itself uniformly to the furrow of itself, is a lost art, and so tenacious was this plow to that principle that if thrown down while running, it would gather itself up and adjust itself to the furrow without assistance. Other plows have been tried but have been failures in this feature, and who will doubt or contend that the absence of the perfect equilibrium which produces that result, leaves a defect which indicates unnecessary side friction adding to its draught and a decided tendency to climb out of the ground, which they all show when in contact with ground a little tough or gummy, which his plow did not do. This fact would indicate its superiority over any plow yet in the field. Whatever of glory or gratitude falls to the man, who was first and foremost in the evolution of the plow from its primitive, crude and clumsy, and for the soil of the Illinois prairies, worthless status, and in an era when it was most needed and the most useful of all implements, and gave to the country the most perfect model ever brought out, justice places it to the name of Roderick OWEN. About 1843, wishing to enlarge his business, in conformance with the order and demands of the time, finding a location in Bureau Valley, Bureau county, Illinois, affording better facilities therefor, Roderick OWEN there moved with his family, where he established an extensive business in the manufacture and sale of the Center Draught plow, and enjoyed a wide and extensive sale for them for a number of years. Until the year 1856, when in the bloom of prosperity and usefulness, he was stricken by paralysis, which rendered him a helpless invalid the remainder of his life, and ended in his death in April, 1861.

Roderick OWEN was not only a man of and for the times in which he lived in the sense already indicated, but was alive to the interests and reforms of his day. With a logical and comprehensive mind, he surveyed the whole political horoscope with a vision which made many of his utterances to become verified by history. He was a most inveterate hater of the institution of slavery and never lost an opportunity to give it a thrust. It was perhaps on account of his well known radical views upon that question along in the 50’s, that he gained the acquaintance and became the warm and intimate friend of Owen LOVEJOY, who then lived at Princeton, Illinois, and whose opinion of him might be obtained form the following incident. Being in Lacon for the purpose of addressing the people on political affairs and meeting and being introduced to Timothy OWEN, Mr. LOVEJOY remarked on the personal resemblance to Roderick OWEN, of Bureau county. On being told that he was a brother, he replied with emphasis: “I know Roderick OWEN well and, sir, you are honored. He would fill any position in the gift of the people of the state of Illinois with honor.”

In Scioto county, Ohio, Roderick OWEN was untied in marriage with Miss Nancy ADAMS, by whom he reared a family of seven children to maturity, and of whom four are living at this writing, namely: Mrs. Sarah SHELDON, of Polk county, Oregon; John Q. A. OWEN, of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Mary A. BRUCE, of Hall county, Nebraska; and Mrs. Helen STARRETT, of Denver, Colorado. Timothy OWEN was also married in Scioto county, Ohio, his union being with Miss Jane DEVER, and to them were born six children who grew to maturity, five of whom are still living: Mrs. Minerva PRITCHETT, of La Rose, Illinois; David D. OWEN, of Richland, Illinois; Mrs. Ruth KUNKLE, of the same place; Samuel H. OWEN, of Table Rock, Nebraska, and Mrs. Sarah Jane KUNKLE, of Peoria, Illinois. One son, Edmond, was drowned in Crow Creek while they lived at the mills, when about three years of age.

Amasa and Keziah OWEN, father and mother of the subject of this sketch, who emigrated to Illinois with them, died in the years 1842 and 1840, respectively, and were among the first to be interred in the cemetery on Crow Creek bluff, known as the Nathan OWEN cemetery.

Jedediah OWEN, their brother, who came to Illinois in 1830, married Elizabeth SEWARD, of Tazewell county, by whom he had six children, four still living. In 1834 he came to Marshall county, where after a somewhat varied experience of success and reverse of twenty years, he settled in 1852 upon a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 20, of Richland township, where he lived prosperously until 1866, when he sold and removed to Jackson county, Missouri, and there bought and improved another farm, upon which he resided until the time of his death, in 1881. Four of his sons served creditably in their country’s cause nearly the full term of the war of the rebellion. After receiving an honorable discharge they returned to their home in Illinois, whence they emigrated to Missouri and Nebraska, where they built for themselves comfortable homes and where they still reside.

Samuel HADLOCK, before spoken of, also removed from Tazewell county to Marshall county in 1832, and settled upon and improved a large farm on the Illinois river bottom, nine miles below Lacon, where he enjoyed thrift and prosperity until 1860, when he sold his farms and removed to Polk county, Missouri, where he invested quite extensively in lands, and resided until his death, in 1886, surviving his wife, Eliza OWEN HADLOCK, nearly three years. They reared a family of eight children to the age of maturity, but only three are living at the present time.

Of the three sisters who came from Ohio with the subjects of this sketch, Adaline OWEN soon after locating in Illinois married Benjamin BURT, who later removed to Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, where he embarked in marine transportation on the Mississippi river, which he pursued with somewhat diversified fortune until his death in 1860. His wife survived him, dying in 1867, and three of their children are still living.

Emeline OWEN was also married the first year after coming to Illinois to Frazier SEWARD, who was a farmer and stock raiser by occupation, living upon a splendid farm on the lower Crow creek bottom, where he pursued that calling very prosperously for a few years. When in the prime of life he died, leaving a wife and three children. The former afterward became the wife of James SEWARD, a step-brother of her first husband, by whom she had two sons, and with whom she lived the remainder of her life, dying in March, 1850. Three of her children live at the writing – Jefferson, of Pike county, Illinois; James A., of Chillicothe, Illinois, and Scott, of Lacon, Illinois.

Lucy, the youngest sister, was married in 1833, at Crow Creek Mills, to Carver GUNN, who came from Ohio, and soon afterward removed to Polk county, Missouri, where he engaged in the pursuit of farming and stock growing, and continued to reside until called from this life at an advanced age.

William OWEN, an elder brother, drifted into Pennsylvania just prior to their emigration to Illinois, locating in Crawford county, where he built himself a comfortable home, and there married and reared a family of five children, all of whom are yet living in the western states. He died at his home in Pennsylvania in 1860, of paralysis. Another brother, Hiram OWEN, came to Illinois in the 50’s, and settled upon a small farm in Putnam county, where he died in 1878.

In religion, Timothy and Roderick OWEN both became adherents of the Methodist creed in early life, continuing their membership with that church until death. In the latter part of their lives, however, they both became quite passive and liberal in their religious views, with marked falling off tendencies of belief in the infallibility of the Christian dogmas of the past. To do good and to promote the betterment of the condition of their fellow men was the principal code or creed of their religion, and always relied implicitly upon the virtue of the philosophical maxim, “ As ye would that other do unto you, do ye likewise unto them.” They were both lovers of nature, demonstration, music and art, and were always attracted and absorbed by the disclosures and inventions of science. They were always known and regarded as religious men because of the orderly and exemplary conduct of their lives.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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