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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee 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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R. B. Owen, a prosperous farmer of Richland Township, Lee County, is a native of Alabama, and was born in 1833, being the fifth in a family of nine children given to Richardson and Tobitha (Allin) Owen. Their names are as follows: Tobitha, Henry R., Edward T., Sarah H., R. B., Mary F., Susan E., Anna E. and Thomas Grant. Richardson Owen was born in North Carolina in 1790, and in 1820 was married to Tobitha, a daughter of Grant Allen, of Tennessee. Mr. Owen afterward settled in Alabama, where he engaged in farming, and was also a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a doctor, having practiced medicine for some years previous to his death. Coming to Arkansas in 1851, he settled in Lee County, Richland Township, where he purchased 500 acres of valuable land. He was a public-spirited and progressive man, lending his support and influence to all public enterprises. In politics he was an old line Whig. R. B. Owen moved to Arkansas with his parents, and in 1862 enlisted in Capt. Anderson’s company of Johnson regiment. He was soon after exchanged to Company C, Sixth Mississippi Infantry, and was a non-commissioned officer, serving as an ordnance-sergeant. He participated in the battles of Prairie Grove, Helena, Jenkins’ Ferry and many others of minor importance. After the war Mr. Owen returned to Arkansas, settling in Lee County and resuming his occupation of farming, where he has since remained. He owns 310 acres of land, with 200 under cultivation. He was married in 1860 to Martha E. Sellers, a daughter of William B. and Mahala J. (Estes) Sellers, natives of Tennessee, but who immigrated to Mississippi, and then to Arkansas in 1847, settling in Lee County. Mr. Sellers died in 1858, and his wife in 1868. They were the parents of five children: William, Martha, Mary, Vianna and one deceased in infancy. To Mr. Owen’s marriage five children have been born: Virginia D. (died in 1861), Helena (now Mrs. Walter Rainey, residing in Mississippi), Leila A., Mattie M. and an infant. In secret organizations Mr. Owen is identified with the Knights of Honor. He takes a great interest in all public improvements, and is especially interested in schools, in which he can see vast advancement and progress.

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This family biography is one of 104 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lee County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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