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History of Bates County: Review of Reuben Owen and H.B.Owen families

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Atkeson, W. O. History of Bates County, Missouri,Topeka: Historical Pub. Co, 1918, p 396.

Horace Benton OWEN, President of the Bank of Merwin and senior member of the milling and grain firm of Owen & Groves, Merwin, MO was born at Greencastle, Indiana, Putnam County Dec 7, 1859.

He is a son of Reuben Smith and Eveline (Piercey) Owen, both of whom were born and reared in the Hoosier State. They removed to Independent MO in 1868 and after a residence there of a little over two years, returned to Greencastle where the father again took up farming in his native state.

In 1885, the family again moved west, locating this time on a farm near Paoli, Kansas. One year later they located on an unimproved tract of land located north of Merwin in Bates County, Reuben Owen dying there in 1892.

Reuben and Eveline Owen were parents of: Edgar and Edwin, Kansas City, MO; HB, subject of this review; Mrs. Sallie Kain, Fulton, MO; Mrs. Flora Yingst, Merwin, MO; Mrs. N.O. Davis, living at Sugar Creek near Kansas City.

H.B. Owen accompanied his parents to Bates County and resided with his father on the home place until the latter's death. He retained the home farm until the spring of 1902. He then sold it and locating in Merwin, he operated a creamery for one year, after which he leased the plant for a time and again took charge of it, establishing a milling and grain, hay and coal business. He operated this alone until March 1917 when George Groves became a partner in the concern. The Owen Milling Company manufactures corn meal, chop feed and Graham flour for purely local consumption, and the enterprise is a decided convenience for the farmers in this section. Mr. Owen has been operating the mill since 1905 and the initial building was erected in 1902. In 1906 he established his grain-buying and shipping business which is in a flourishing condition.

On Feb 13, 1895, Mr. Owen was married to Annie Patterson, born in Ohio, daughter of John and Elmira McDonough Patterson who migrated to Anderson Co, KS in 1883 and after one years' residence in that county they settled in Cass Co, MO where both died, the former dying in 1894 and the latter departing this life in 1915.

Mr. and Mrs. Owen have one adopted son, Russell aged 10 years.

Politically, Mr. Owen has always been allied with the Republican party and is an influential leader of his party in his section of the county. He served as tax collector, constable, and justice of the peace of West Boone Township. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and has generally taken the lead in all enterprises which have been intended to advance the interests of his home town of Merwin, of which he is the leading citizen in many ways. He was one of the organizers of the Bank of Merwin and is president of this thriving financial concern. The Merwin Christian Church is a living monument to his path is a living monument to his push and energy and devout interest in religious works. He was the leading spirit in the organization of this congregation and the chairman of the board of trustees which built the church, being probably the heaviest contributor to the building fund. He served as deacon of the church from its founding until he became elder of the congregation in 1911 and is also serving as chairman of the board of trustees.

Mr. Owen enjoys the respect, esteem and confidence of the people of his home town and vicinity and has built up a splendid reputation for business integrity and honor which places him in the front rank of Bates County's best citizens.

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