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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Drew County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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W. N. Owens, planter and ginner, Monticello, Ark. This prosperous and enterprising citizen is a native of Shelby County, Tenn., where his birth occurred on March 12, 1834, and is the son of Ezekiel B. and Adelia Pendleton (Payne) Owens, the father a native of Bedford County, Tenn., and the mother of the Old Dominion. They were married in Tennessee, and in 1837 located in Union (now Drew) County, on the same spot where their son, W. M., now resides, and entered 840 acres of land, which was then all heavy timber. The father built a little log-cabin, covered with clapboards, weighed down with poles, and without a nail in it, and thus they began their life in the wilderness. Later they made many improvements, erected a better house, and became quite comfortably fixed. Upon their first settlement in the county wild animals of all kinds abounded, and the father often brought down a bear or deer with his trusty rifle, in fact, that was their principal article of food for many years. He carried salt from Arkansas Post, on horseback, through the woods, to salt down his meat. Neighbors were few and far between, but none the less sociable, and would go fifteen or twenty miles to a log rolling or house warming. His nearest neighbor south was sixty miles distant, and there were about three settlements between his place and Pine Bluff, Ark. The father was justice of the peace for a number of years. Both parents died on the old homestead, the father in February, 1882, and the mother in February, 1883. They were the parents of nine children, six of whom are now living: William N., James A., Milton H., Lycurgus B., Lewis C. and Adelia S. William N. Owens was but a boy when he moved with his parents to this county, and his early life was passed in assisting his father to clear his place. In 1850 he went to California with a company going overland, and was absent about twelve months, engaged in mining. In 1861 he enlisted in Drew Battery, Light Artillery, and served until the surrender. Afterward he returned to the old homestead, and has here resided ever since. Mr. Owens is one of the oldest living residents of Drew County, having been in this county for over half a century. He owns 160 acres of land, with fifty acres under cultivation, and he also has a good cotton-gin, which was erected in 1875, adding steam power in 1883. He has a nice place, and is doing a good business. He was married in 1854 to Miss Ellen F. Patterson, by whom he has two children living: William W. and Emma L. (wife of A. W. McQuiston, of Texas). Mr. Owens is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

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This family biography is one of 83 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Drew County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Drew County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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