genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893, p. 277.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

OSCAR J. OWEN is well known in Stonington Township as an enterprising agriculturist and good citizen. He owns a well improved and desirable farm on section 5, which has been his home for many years. During the late war he enlisted under the old Stars and Stripes, and suffered much in the cause of freedom.

The birth of Mr. Owen took place in Washington County, Ohio, on the 27th of June, 1843. His father, James Owen, was also a native of Washington County, born March 22, 1808. His life work was that of a farmer, and he continued to reside in his native State until his death, which occurred in his sixty-fifth year.

His father was one of the early settlers of Ohio, going there when quite a young man, and was one of the brave defenders of the fort at Marietta during the Indian War. The Owen family is of Irish ancestry, but they have long been residents of the United States.

Our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Catherine Baldwin, was of German extraction, and was born in Washington County, Ohio, May 3, 1813. She was sixty-four years old at the time of her death, and lies buried by her husband in the cemetery at Lowell, Ohio.

James and Catherine Owen were the parents of eight children, two sons and six daughters: Vesta, who died in infancy; Jane, who died when about ten years of age; Lorinda, wife of James Wilson, an Ohio farmer; Catherine, who became the wife of Benjamin Shattick, a resident of Washington County, Ohio; Beulah, deceased, wife of Charles Davis, of Ohio; our subject, the next in order of birth; Angelina, wife of Amos Wilson, a farmer of Nebraska; and Charles, who is teaching school in Washington County, Ohio.

Oscar J. Owen remained under the parental roof until eighteen years of age, when, fired by patriotism, he enlisted as a member of Company A, Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, entering the service July 29, 1861. In the battle of Chickamauga, he received a wound in the left shoulder and was taken to the Nashville hospital. Thence he was transferred to Louisville, Ky., and at the end of three months returned to his regiment. He took part in the battles of Louisburg, Va., Antietam, Winchester, Bull Run, and many lesser engagements. On the expiration of his three years term of service he received an honorable discharge at Columbus, Ohio, September 10, 1864, and returned to his home.

During the winter of 1865, Mr. Owen engaged in teaching school, and in the spring moved to Christian County. He engaged in farming and teaching for several years, since which time he has given his whole attention to the carrying on of his farm, which has two hundred and forty acres within its limits. The owner has developed into a practical farmer and has made many substantial improvements upon the place, which is considered one of the best in the township.

A marriage ceremony was performed October 5, 1865, by which Miss Mary Wickens became the wife of our subject. She was born February 25, 1844, in Washington County, Ohio, where she grew to womanhood. Her parents were George and Rebecca Ann (Carlin) Wickens. The former came from England when sixteen years of age, and was one of the early settlers of Washington County, Ohio. The mother was of Irish and English descent, and was also born in the Buckeye State. Four children have been born to our subject and wife. The eldest, Henry M., is principal

of the Decatur Business University, of Decatur, Ill.; Joseph Irving has just graduated from Shurtleff College, at Alton, Ill., and is now at home on the farm, but expects to secure a professorship soon; Jesse Bell is a student in Shurtleff College; and Harry Roach is still at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Owen and their three eldest children are members of the Missionary Baptist Church and valued workers in the same. Our subject takes quite an active part in local politics, being a true Republican. For a number of years he has served in the capacity of School Director, and has also been Commissioner of Highways. Fraternally, he belongs to Francis M. Long Post No. 392, G. A. R., of Taylorville. He is honored and respected by his friends and neighbors and deserves the high esteem in which he is held by all having the pleasure of his acquaintance.



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