Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JERRY W. OWENS. Although we are prone to rail at our environments and lack of early opportunities, blaming these for our failures along the road toward the "heights," yet the contemplative mind must conclude that life is, after all, about what we make it. When but a boy Jerry W. Owens, of Springfield, Missouri, general agent of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Philadelphia, realized that man is master of his fate; that he is the captain of his own soul, and he set about in a laudable manner to shape his destiny on "these banks and shoals of time."
Mr. Owens was born on September 6, 1875, on a farm eight miles northwest of Carthage, Missouri, in one of the best farming sections of Jasper county, and resided on this farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He is a son of David D. and Frances M. (Stout) Owens. The father was born in Wales, July 15, 1834, and moved to Newark, Licking county, Ohio, with his parents when a mere boy, and the mother's birth occurred near Newark, Licking county, Ohio, September 9, 1842. Her death occurred at Santa Cruz, California, July 17, 1913, and in that city the father is still making his home. David D. Owens received a fairly good education in the rural schools. His wife was well educated and she spent her earlier years in educational work, teaching about twenty terms in Ohio and Illinois. Mr. Owens has devoted his active life to farming and stock raising, but is now living in retirement, but still owns his fine farm of two hundred acres in Jasper county, Missouri. During the Civil war he enlisted in an Ohio regiment and served in the Union army, participating in several engagements in Maryland and Virginia. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and politically he is a Republican. His family consists of four children, namely: Edwin J. lives in Canon City, Colorado, where he is engaged in the mercantile business; David A. lives in Santa Cruz, California, where he is engaged in the transfer and storage business; James B. also lives in Santa Cruz, being in partnership with his brother in business.
Jerry W. Owens spent his boyhood on the farm in Jasper county and received his education in the common schools, later attending college in Carthage, then came to Springfield and took a course in the Springfield Business College. He began life for himself by doing clerical work for a number of different firms in Springfield. He subsequently became official court reporter for the Circuit Court and the Criminal Court, discharging the duties of this important trust for a period of eight years in a manner that was highly satisfactory to ail concerned. He reported all civil cases in Division No. 2 and reported all criminal cases. While incumbent of this office he found time to engage to some extent in the insurance business, and about ten years ago he was made general agent for the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Philadelphia, his territory comprising about twenty-five counties in southwestern Missouri. He has offices at 826 Landers Building. He is one of the best known insurance men in this section of the state.
Mr. Owens was married on March 10, 1909, in Springfield, to Minnie Clyde Umbarger, who was born in Saline county, Missouri, June 21, 1877. She is a daughter of Thomas A. and Mary Jane (Spates) Umbarger. The father was born on July 5, 1846, near Bloomington, Indiana, and died on October 8, 1910, his death being the result of an accident. The mother of Mrs. Owens was born on February 16, 1837, near Louisville, Kentucky, and her death occurred on March 5, 1903. To these parents six children were born, five of whom are still living, namely: William W. is engaged in farming near Marshall, Saline county, Missouri; Walter A., who lives in Springfield, is a member of the firm of Boehn & Umbarger, fire insurance agents; Dr. Thomas T. is practicing dentistry in Springfield; Maggie, who married William W. Naylor. He was killed in a train wreck near Lebanon, Missouri, September 15, 1914; Minnie C., who became the wife of Mr. Owens, of this sketch. She attended the country schools, and the Missouri Valley College at Marshall, Missouri.
Two children have been born to Jerry W. Owens and wife, namely: Mary Frances, born January 10, 1911; David Allen, born January 1, 1913.
Politically, Mr. Owens is a Republican and is active in party affairs. He is at this writing chairman of the county committee of his party and has done much for the success of the candidates of his party. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Illinois Commercial Men's Association, of Chicago. The family belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Springfield-Greene County Library