Dr. T. James Owens, whose demise occurred in Utica on the 28th of September, 1904, was for twenty seven years
successfully engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Oneida county but spent the last four years of
his life in honorable retirement. His birth occurred in Trenton, this county, on the 30th of September, 1846, his
parents being Thomas H. and Jane (Griffith) Owens, the former a native of Wales and the latter of Steuben, New
York. Thomas H. Owens emigrated to this country in early manhood and here turned his attention to general agricultural
T. James Owens lost his father when but fourteen years of age and was thus early thrown upon his own resources.
He obtained his primary education in Trenton and subsequently entered Whitestown Seminary, from which institution
he was graduated in 1869. Taking up the profession of teaching, he was engaged as an instructor at Alder Creek
and in the old Holland Patent Academy. In the fall of 1870 he began the study of medicine under the direction of
Dr. Crane, of Holland Patent; he then went to Ann Arbor where he studied six months in the medical department of
the University of Michigan, whence he returned to Holland Patent, to again resume his studies for six months under
Dr. Crane, and in 1873 was graduated from Bellevue Medical College of New York City. Locating at Steuben, he practiced
his profession for many years and afterward removed to Remsen, where he remained an active practitioner until failing
health obliged him to abandon his work in 1900. Like all country physicians, he was not a specialist but had an
extensive general practice, riding over the country from morning until night and doing good wherever the opportunity
arose. His labors as a surgeon were attended with excellent results. In October, 1902, he took up his abode in
Utica, where he made his home until called to his final rest.
In 1875 Dr. Owens was united in marriage to Miss Mannie A. Treat, of Holland Patent, New York, her father being
Silas K. Treat, a native of Trenton, this state, who followed farming at Holland Patent. Her paternal grandfather,
Amos Treat, came to Trenton from Connecticut and was likewise engaged in agricultural pursuits at Holland Patent.
Dr. Owens was ever a stanch republican in politics and stood high in the local ranks of the party. He acted for
two years as town clerk of Steuben and in 1881 and 1882 represented that town as supervisor, serving on several
important committees. In 1883 he was chosen assemblyman from the fourth Oneida district, being the first one to
be elected to the house from that district. In that year he was chairman of the fish and game committee and likewise
served on the committee on military affairs and railroads, etc. In 1884 he was reelected to the assembly and served
on the same committees. His record in the legislature was a most creditable one and proved that the confidence
of his constituents had not been misplaced. For a number of years he was a member of the republican county committee.
In 1896 he passed the civil service examination for the position of assistant commissioner of agriculture, a state
office to which he was immediately appointed. His division, the fourth, comprised eight counties, with headquarters
in Utica. During Harrison's administration Dr. Owens served as pension examiner for this district.
He was an exemplary Mason, having joined the fraternity in 1868, and also followed the teachings of the Presbyterian
church. He led an earnest and consistent Christian life. It is our duty to mark our appreciation of such a man,
a man true in every relation of life, faithful to every trust. His widow, who resides at No. 262 Oneida street
in Utica, enjoys the high regard and esteem of a large circle of friends.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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