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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Union 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. F. Owen, a prominent citizen of Blanchard Springs, and a man well known and respected throughout the county, is a native-born resident of the same, his birth occurring near Champagnolle, in 1854. He was the eldest in order of birth of nine children born to W. C. and Rebecca (Johnston) Owens, both natives of Alabama. W. C. Owens came with his parents to Arkansas, when a child, and settled in Union County, where his father, Jesse Owens, was one of the pioneers. The latter went to California in 1848, but returned a few years later, and then went to Texas, where he died in 1878. The father of our subject spent his youth in this county, is a mechanic and has worked at his trade all his life. He is now residing in Champagnolle, as is also the mother. W. F. Owen was reared in Champagnolle, received a limited education, and when about twenty-two years of age began clerking for E. T. Cook, with whom he remained two years. Then, after a short course at college in the summer of 1878, he returned, and was with Mr. Cook until 1880. After this he went to Caledonia, took charge of the business of Hale & Cobb, and was with this firm for five years, or until the partnership was dissolved, when he, in partnership with J. W. Cobb, started business under the firm name of J. W. Cobb & Co. This continued for two years, when Mr. Owen sold out his interest, and hired as clerk. In the fall of 1886 he came to Blanchard Springs, and embarked with H. Wade, whom he still employs as book-keeper. Mr. Owen was married in December, 1880, to Miss Ella Woolley, a native of this county, and the daughter of Richard Woolley, who was a pioneer settler of said county. The three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Owen were named as follows: Munnie, Tebo and Ida Maude. Mr. Owens is the owner of a dwelling and store-house, with lots at Caledonia, and at Blanchard he has a store and lot. He is also the owner of four farms in this vicinity, 540 acres, with 200 acres under cultivation, and the remainder covered with the best timber. The family are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are esteemed very highly in the neighborhood in which they reside. Mr. Owen is a self-made man, and commenced life when twenty-two years of age, when he could hardly write legibly, and had nothing. He has educated himself, is a thorough business man, and has accumulated quite a neat little fortune. He has never used tobacco, never swallowed a drop of liquor, and is moral in every sense of the word.

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This family biography is one of 84 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Union County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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