Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JOHN S. OWEN. The name of the late. John S. (Sol) Owen needs no introduction to the readers of this history, for he was widely known in Greene county for many years, being a worthy representative of one of our best pioneer families, and he was highly regarded by all who knew him.

Mr. Owen was born September 22, 1857, near Wilson's Creek, this county. He was a son of Capt. C. Baker and Ellen (Yarbrough) Owen. He was a grandson of Col. Sol Owen, who settled the old Owen farm in 1837, on which place our subject's death occurred. The parents of our subject were both born in Tennessee, from which state they came to Greene county, Missouri, in an early day, when they were children, the father being twelve years of age when he came here. Here he grew up and helped develop the farm. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in the Federal army and became captain of Company D, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, which he commanded in a praiseworthy manner for three years. Later he served four years as sheriff of Greene county. He was a farmer and stock raiser. He was a strong Democrat and a leader in his party.

Captain Owen was twice married, first to Ellen Yarbrough, mother of our subject. The only other child by this union was Stephen A. Douglas Owen, who died in January, 1915, on his farm on the James river, this county. The mother of our subject died when he was a small boy. Later Captain Owen married Caroline McCroskey, an aunt of C. W. McCroskey, the present superintendent of schools of Greene county. A sketch of Professor McCroskey appears in this volume. Eight children were born to Captain Owen and his second wife, all of whom are living but one.

John S. Owen of this sketch grew up on the home farm and he was educated in the rural schools, however, educating himself for the most part, and was an excellent example of a self-made man. When twenty-four years of age he started in life for himself on a farm of one hundred acres, which was a part of the old Owen homestead. He prospered and at the time of his death owned two hundred eighty-seven and one-half acres, which valuable place is now in possession of our subject's widow and children. Mr. Owen carried on general farming in a very successful manner. He was never much of a trader, for being a great home man, did not like to be absent from his family. However, he handled many mules, of which he was an excellent judge. This farm is known as the "Old Judge 'Sol' Owen place."

Mr. Owen of this sketch married, on April 28, 1881, Sarah M. Rose. She was born in Greene county, Missouri, near the Wilson's Creek battleground, on October 16, 1859. She is a daughter of Reuben O. and Lucy A. (McElhaney) Rose. Mr. Rose was born in Tennessee, from which state he came to Greene county, Missouri, devoted his active life to general farming and died on his farm near Wilson's creek in March, 1880. His wife was also born in Tennessee, and she is still living on the old homestead here, and, although now advanced in years, is well preserved--in fact, looks many years younger. She has always looked for the silver lining in life's clouds and is the possessor of many admirable characteristics. Mr. Rose was owner of the old Rose flouring mill, well known in the former generation in this part of the country. To Reuben O. Rose and wife fourteen children were born, ten of whom are still living. Mrs. Owen received her education in the public schools of her community

Eleven children were born to our subject and wife, namely: Charles B., born April 5, 1882, married Evelena Murray, a farmer and stock man of Polk county, Missouri; Jerome B., born November 22, 1883, married Olive Murray, and they live on a farm in Greene county; Abble E., born April 13, 1885, died September 10, 1886; Rose H., born December 3, 1886, married Charles Reichle, a machinist in the Frisco shops, and they live in Springfield; Joseph C., born March 1, 1889, married Amelia Helbig, and they reside on the home farm; Robert F., born October 1, 1890, died July 24, 1891; Wilda (Nora) A., born April 8, 1892, lives at home; Sarah E., born January 10, 1894, married Clarence Robertson, who is engaged in the banking business, and who resides at 468 South Grant street, Springfield; Savanna F., born February 3, 1896, is living at home; John Sol, Jr., born August 1, 1897, is living at home; Hollie M., born February 5, 1899, is living at home.

Mr. Owen was a public-spirited man, always ready to give his support to any good movement in his community. He was a deputy sheriff of this county, serving under Sheriff John Day, serving the full two years very creditably. In 1896 he was elected sheriff of Greene county on the Democratic ticket, and served two years in a very creditable manner. Like his father before him, he was loyal to the Democratic party. Fraternally, our subject was an active member of the Knights of Pythias and was buried by that order. He also belonged to the Modern Woodmen, the Woodmen of the World and the Royal Arcanum. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. His wife and children also belong to this church. The death of Mr. Owen of this review occurred October 24, 1899.

[1878-1880]


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