Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
STEPHEN A. D. OWEN. No industry is so vital to the well-being of the nation as agriculture, and nothing is so vital to agriculture as the soil. From its treasury it has been estimated that we draw annually about eight billion and three hundred million dollars, and its possibilities are as yet only partially realized. There are still in this country millions of acres which have never felt the plow, while those which are now under cultivation can, by the application of scientific principles, be made to produce many times the present value of their products. How to use and not abuse this great resource is the most important problem which faces the farmer of today--one worthy of the best efforts of our profound and learned scientists; for upon its solution depends the future prosperity of the nation. One of the alert and wide awake agriculturists of Greene county of a past generation was the late Stephen A. D. Owen, of Wilson township, a scion of the prominent old Owen family of this locality.
Mr. Owen was born in Greene county, Missouri, January 6, 1861. He is a son of C. B. and Ellen (Yarbrough) Owen, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Christian county, Missouri, the parents of the mother of our subject having emigrated from middle Tennessee to Missouri in an early day. C. B. Owen was also one of the early settlers in the southern part of Greene county, becoming an extensive land owner along the James river and one of the most substantial and influential citizens here. He was twice married, and had two children by his first union, namely: J. Solomon, and Stephen A. D. During the Civil war C. B. Owen was a Unionist, and became captain of the Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, serving three years with distinction and credit. At the battle of Wilson's creek he acted as guide to Col. Franz Sigel's column which marched from Springfield to the camp of the Confederates the night preceding the battle. Mr. Owen took part in numerous engagements, including the battles of Pleasant Hill and Ft. Derussy and several of minor importance. He was never wounded but was once struck with a spent ball. A fuller history of Captain Owen will be found on other pages of this work.
Stephen A. D. Owen grew to manhood on the home farm, where he assisted with the general work and in the winter months he attended the old subscription schools, obtaining a meager education, which has since been properly supplemented by wide miscellaneous reading. When he was forty-six years of age his father died and our subject became possessed of a finely improved and valuable farm of two hundred acres from the old homestead, a part of which lies across the line in Christian county. Here he carried on general farming and stock raising in a manner that indicated he was fully abreast of the times of modern husbandry.
Mr. Owen was twice married, first, on April 28, 1883, to Luta L. White, a daughter of Hardy and Tampey White, formerly of the state of Tennessee, from which they emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in an- early day. She was one of three children, being the youngest, and her death occurred March 18, 1888, leaving three children, namely: Alfred Wilson, Charles Baker, and Horace Preston, all living in Greene county. Our subject was married on February 17, 1894, his last wife being Rachael Ann Payne, born April 6, 1858, a daughter of Lewis and Margaret Payne, natives of Tennessee and Virginia, respectively. The father came to Greene county, Missouri, when five years of age. His father was the second white man to settle in Greene county. He found only Indians and a few Spaniards in these parts. Our subject's second marriage was without issue.
Politically, Mr. Owen adhered to the principles of the Democratic party since reaching maturity, but never sought public office, being content to devote his attention exclusively to his pleasant home and his extensive farming operations. However he served as constable four years. His death occurred at his home, January 28, 1915.
Springfield-Greene County Library