Genealogy Trails Welcome to
Carroll County
Missouri

Biographies
" O "

George F. Owen.
To the records of successful citizenship in Denton County the career of George F. Owen, of the Ponder community, presents an interesting chapter. He has lived there about a quarter of a century, and all of the accumulations that mark him as one of the successful men have been gained since he came here, practically without resources, earning his first dollar in Texas as a threshing machine hand.
Mr. Owen was born in Carroll County, Missouri, August 30, 1867. His father, William F. Owen, was born in Schuyler County, Illinois, in February, 1839. The grandfather of William F. Owen came from Wales and settled in Pennsylvania, where he reared a family of ten sons. Some of these went into Tennessee, two to Iowa, while the father of William F. settled in Illinois and died when his son William was about three years of age. William F. Owen grew up on an Illinois farm, and during the Civil war was a member of Company B of the 7th Missouri Cavalry, made up chiefly of Illinois men. This regiment served in Missouri, and most of Company B was captured near Independence, that state. After being paroled William F. Owen returned home and did not again rejoin the army. He married in Illinois Miss Bettie Spriggs, daughter of a widow, Betsey (McKee) Spriggs. She died in 1876, the mother of seven children, of whom only two survive, Florence, wife of Billy Lewton, living at Wood River, Nebraska, and George F. The second wife of William F. Owen was Mrs. Harriet Vaneble. William F. Owen spent his last years in Colorado and died at Salida. He served several years as city marshal there and was police judge when he died.
When George F. Owen was five years of age his parents left Missouri and returned to Schuyler County, Illinois, where his mother died when he was about nine years of age. His father then took the family to Colorado, where George grew to manhood. Most of his education was acquired in country schools in Illinois. As a youth he became associated with his father in farming in Chaffee County, Colo­rado, and for three years farmed in Delta County. The rest of the nine years he spent in that western state he worked on the range for stockmen. In the summer of 1893 Mr. Owen removed to Iowa, but left there during the memorable panic of that year, almost giv­ing away his stock to get rid of it. Near Hawardeen, Iowa, he operated a threshing machine and worked for wages husking corn and then, just before Christmas, left for the South, reaching Denison, Texas, between Christmas and New Year, and remained at Paris, Texas, until June 10, 1894, when he arrived in Denton County. He came here with only a few dollars in cash. He had had much experience, and while in the west had been rather successful financially. He lost his capital during the silver panic in 1892-93.
His first work as a threshing machine hand was done for O. W. Myers three miles west of Denton. Soon afterwards he began oper­ating threshing machines of his own, and has been in that business on a rather extensive scale ever since. For six years he also oper­ated a well drilling outfit, drilling deep wells over the north and west portions of Denton County and in Montague County. As a result of his efforts perhaps a 150 wells are now serving their owners. Mr. Owen still has in commission two threshing outfits. His operations in this field have extended far beyond the limits of Denton County. For three years he threshed grain in Oklahoma and five years on the Texas plains in Armstrong County, where he still owns an interest in an outfit. A duly conservative estimate of the number of bushels of grain his machines have threshed would be almost three quarters of a million.
In connection with his threshing Mr. Owen began practical farming in 1900, and all his work in that line has been performed at his present location. He first rented a large tract, and grain has been his chief crop, together with much cotton. He has had the experience of a wide range of prices, selling wheat at sixty cents a bushel and corn at forty cents, while in 1920 his wheat went to market for two dollars and sixty-five cents a bushel. For some years Mr. Owen was making progress as a hog raiser, and was gradually getting his herd bred up to high class Duroc Jerseys. Then, in 1915, the cholera hit his pen and when it passed there was not a single pig left, and he retired probably permanently from the business. For several years he has owned a small flock of sheep, chiefly to keep down the weeds on his premises. Sheep, says Mr. Owen, in two years will convert a weedy tract into a fine grassy pasture, and are valuable for this reason if for none other. However, he has sold the fleece at thirty-five cents a pound, affording a good profit on the care and keep of the animals. On his farms 270 acres are under cultivation, the greater part being handled by tenants.
In Denton County September 17, 1900, Mr. Owen married Miss Nannie Donald Wakefield, daughter of H. Frank Wakefield, of Mineral Wells, of the prominent Wakefield family of Denton County. Mrs. Owen's mother was a daughter of Robert H. Donald, another well known family of the Lewisville community of Denton County. Mrs. Owen was born at Waketon, Texas, in February, 1871, and was reared there, finishing her education in Pilot Point.
Mr. Owen has given his party loyalty to the Democratic ticket and has always voted at elections. For one term he was a member of the Ponder School Board and though without children of his own to educate he supports schools as liberally as those who have. While on the Ponder board he and his collegues succeeded in enlarging the dis­trict boundaries and establishing a ward school on Denton Creek, whereby that country community is supplied with better school facilities. Mr. Owen is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge at Justin and he is a trustee of the Ponder Methodist Church, of which Mrs. Owen is a member. Mr. Owen is a director of the Ponder State Bank. During the recent war he bore his share of duties and burdens and had the satisfaction of seeing his locality go over the top in every campaign for funds. 
(Source: History of Texas, Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest Edition, Edited by Capt. B. B. Paddock, Volume I, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1922, page 202-203 submitted by Candi Horton)

 

Return to


Carroll County

Copyright © Genealogy Trails
All data on this website is Copyright by Genealogy Trails with full rights reserved for original submitters.