Robert E. Owens was one of the extensive landowners of Iowa county, owning eight hundred and forty acres, his
home being in Troy township. He was born in Anglesea, Wales, in 1835, and was one of a family of fifteen children.
The only one now living is a brother, D. L. Owens, a resident of Lime Springs, Iowa.
Robert E. Owens spent the period of his minority in his native country and acquired his education in its schools.
He came to America when twenty four years of age and on crossing the Atlantic made his way into the interior of
the country, settling first at Racine, Wisconsin, where he remained for several years. In 1866 he came to Iowa
county, Iowa, and purchased a large tract of land in Iowa township, whereon he resided for many years. He most
carefully and systematically cultivated the fields and carried on the work of farming and his labors were attended
with substantial and most desirable results.
On the 13th of June, 1871, Mr. Owens was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Roberts, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, who
was born in 1846, a daughter of Francis and Ella (Pugh) Roberts, both of whom were natives of Wales and spent their
last days in Waukesha, Wisconsin. To Mr. and Mrs. Owens were born five children: Hugh R., who was born September
8, 1872, and died September 25, 1914; Mary E., who was born in Iowa county and has passed away; Evan E., who was
born in Iowa county, July 29, 1875, and now occupies the old homestead; Robert E., who was born in Iowa county
in 1877; and Marion E., the wife of A. I. McCleery, of Oxford, Iowa.
While upon the farm Mr. Owens carefully and wisely directed his business affairs. He was a stock farmer and engaged
quite extensively in breeding and raising shorthorn cattle, Hampshire and Duroc Jersey hogs and Shire horses. In
all of his farming and stock raising interests Mr. Owens displayed sound judgment and keen discrimination and his
careful guidance of his interests brought to him a gratifying measure of success so that in 1896, having become
the possessor of a handsome competence, he was able to retire from his farm in Iowa township and turn over the
active farm work to his son. He afterward lived in Troy township until his death, which occurred on the 21st of
March, 1914, after having suffered a stroke of apoplexy. Mrs. Owens and her son Evan now reside upon the farm property.
By all who knew him Mr. Owens was considered a man of the highest and most honorable character. He came to America
a poor young man, possessing no capital save the determination to win a fortune if it could be accomplished through
honorable methods. Persistency and energy enabled him to carry out his purpose and throughout his entire business
career he was known as the soul of business honor. His religious faith was indicated in his membership in the Congregational
church of Williamsburg and to its teachings he was most loyal. He never deviated from what he believed to be right
in a course between himself and his fellowmen, and at his demise he left an example that may well be followed,
an example that should serve as a source of inspiration to all who knew him.
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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