Frank Owen, whose term as county clerk expired on the 31st of December, 1904, is now engaged in the real estate
and insurance business in Marengo and is well known in this city. He is a native son of Iowa county, born on the
27th of October, 1859, of the marriage of Abraham and Cyrena (Ford) Owen, who were born respectively in Rutland
county, Vermont, on the 27th of October, 1817, and in Virginia on the 1st of March, 1831. On the 12th of June,
1838, Abraham Owen arrived in Iowa, settling in Washington county near the mouth of the English rivet. There he
built a sawmill in company with a Mr. Haskenn and for two years was connected with its operation. He helped build
the first frame building in Iowa City and in 1841 was one of a committee appointed to explore the Iowa, Cedar and
Des Moines rivers down to the Indian Agency. After that task was performed he engaged in trapping and hunting for
some time but in 1849 joined the rush of gold seekers and went to California. He left Iowa City for the newly discovered
El Dorado on the 31st of March, 1849, and in October, of that year, arrived at the mines on the upper Feather river.
He followed mining for two years there and then engaged in lumbering, with which he was connected until 1855. In
that year he returned to Iowa City and in the spring of 1856 he came to this county, settling upon the farm now
in the possession of the subject of this review. He continued to reside here until his demise, which occurred on
the 4th of April, 1907. His wife preceded him in death five years, as she was called to the great beyond on the
3d of March, 1902. They were the parents of nine children: Hugh B., deceased; Frank; Fred, who died in infancy;
William T., who lives in English township; Glenn, who was last heard of in Africa; Thomas B., who died at Foo Chow,
China, where he had gone as a missionary; Charles A., who is living in Oklahoma; Mary, the wife of J. S. Chapman,
of Fillmore township, this county; and Jessie, who died in infancy.
Frank Owen is indebted to the common schools of this county for his education and remained at home until he attained
his majority. He then went to Montana and was employed there in various lines of activity for five years. At the
end of that time he returned to Iowa county and located upon the homestead farm, which he operated until 1903.
He then removed to North English and turned his attention to the lumber business, with which he was identified
for four years. He next became a factor in the administration of county affairs, being elected sheriff, which office
he held for four years. For a year and a half he was marshal of Marengo and at the end of that time was elected
county clerk, in which office he served for two years. In March, 1915, he opened a real estate office in the Opera
block, becoming a partner of J. W. Thompson.
Mr. Owen also represents a number of reliable insurance companies and is a valued addition to the business circles
of Marengo. He is energetic and aggressive and is also characterized by sound judgment, and this combination of
traits is certain to lead to success in almost any line of business.
On the 2d of October, 1887, Mr. Owen married Miss Mary O. West, a native of this county and a daughter of Abraham
and Barbara (Garver) West. Her father has passed away, but her mother is still living in Fillmore township. Mr.
and Mrs. Owen are the parents of four children: Ada B., who is a teacher and is residing at home; Nellie, the wife
of E. T. Voss, of Marengo; Abraham, deceased; and Richard, at home.
Mr. Owen is well known as a worker in the democratic party and his advice carries weight in its local councils.
He is a representative of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities and has many friends in both of those
organizations and also among those who are not his fraternal brethren.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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