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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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OZIAS BISSELL OWEN, a retired farmer now residing in Ware, was born in Belchertown, Mass., on November 3, 1822, son of Ralph and Fanny (Bissell) Owen, and grandson of Eleazer Owen, who was of English parentage.

Eleazer Owen was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. It is stated he enlisted at the age of fourteen years, and that at fifteen he was one of the most powerful men in the Colonial army, standing six feet in height and weighing two hundred and forty pounds. In 1794 he settled in Belchertown, where he purchased a farm and thereafter turned his attention to agriculture. He married Miss Abigail Bicknell, a farmer’s daughter. They reared seven sons and three daughters. Two of the sons died unmarried, when but a little over twenty years of age. Their mother died in 1836, between seventy and eighty years of age; and their father in 1840, eighty-two years of age. They rest in the Belchertown cemetery.

Ralph Owen, whose birth occurred in Ashford, Conn., June 3, 1785, became a farmer, and, after his marriage, settled on the old homestead in Belchertown. In politics he was a Democrat, and he served his town acceptably as Tax Collector. He was a Past Master Mason, and a prominent member of the Congregational church. He died October 31, 1864, and was buried November 3, the day his son, Ozias Bissell Owen, was forty-two years of age. His wife, whose maiden name was Fanny Bissell, was born in Manchester, Conn., on February 9, 1790. Their marriage took place November 9, 1807. Five sons and five daughters were born of their union, all of whom attained maturity. Three sons and three daughters are now living. One son, Charles M., born January 28, 1818, now residing in Osage, Mitchell County, Ia., is seventy-eight years of age. Their daughter Frances died in 1831, seventeen years of age; and their youngest-born, Willard, died at the age of seventy-two years. The mother’s death occurred in August, 1879, when she was eighty-nine years and six months old.

Ozias Bissell Owen after reaching the age of nine years was unable to attend school except in the winter sessions. He remained at home with his parents until thirty-three years of age. Before settling in the place where he now resides he lived for twelve years upon a farm of one hundred acres about four miles from Ware. His present farm contains thirty acres of land, and was purchased about seventeen years ago.

On November 20, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Maria P. Davis, of Ware, who was born March 7, 1832, and is a daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Hartwell) Davis, who were respectively natives of Worcester County and Sterling, Mass. Her father was a hotel-keeper and likewise filled the office of Deputy Sheriff. He died at the age of forty-four years, when Mrs. Owen was but six years old. He left a widow and four children, a son and three daughters. Joseph H. Davis died in Colorado in December, 1894, aged seventy-five years. Having been a ranchman in the Rocky Mountains located at the foot of Spanish Peak, his body had to be carried forty miles on a bed in order to have it prepared for burial in the East. The surviving members of the family are: Mrs. Owen; and a sister, Frances H., the wife of Mr. Stearns, of Warren, Mass. Their mother died in 1863, in the sixty-seventh year of her age. Mr. and Mrs. Owen have an adopted daughter, Harriett May Owen, now the wife of Charles F. Clark, of Ware; and they have one son, Francis Owen Clark, three and a half years old.

In his political relations Mr. Owen is a Democrat, as was his father before him. Their home is a pleasant and attractive one, and both are esteemed members of the community in which they live.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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