Henderson County, Kentucky Biography



           Joseph Valentine OWEN was born in Columbus, Kentucky, on 27 Jul 1851. When at the age of one year, his father removed to Paducah, and there remained up to his death, at which time young Joseph was fourteen years of age. He was then taken by his uncle, Dr. OWEN, to Hopkins County, where he remained one year, when he concluded to locate in Corydon. To this end, therefore, he packed his worldly goods in a hand satchel and foots it overland. Mr. OWEN inherited nothing save a strong mind and ample energy to back it. His education was limited, yet every spare moment was devoted to the improvement of his mind. Arriving at Corydon, he was soon given a situation with T. C. HART, and during this time, attended as best he could, a private school. He soon after went to King's Mills and taught school there; then engaged in the mercantile business. In 1871 he returned to Corydon and entered into the dry goods business with H. A. POWELL. In 1873 the firm changed to Thos. W. POWELL and himself. During the summer of 1875, Mr. OWEN sold out to Green W. PRITCHETT, and at the earnest solicitation of friends, made the race for Representative, as an Independent, against Isham COTTINGHAM, and was elected by a majority of 1,080 votes. He served during the term of 1875 and '76, and, during the time, introduced several important bills, among the number one regulating the electrion of constrables, greatly simplifing matters and saving a large and unnecessary expense. In 1876, Mr. OWEN was again a candidate, but was defeated by the Hon. M. MERRITT. He then purchased the stock of H. A. POWELL, 06 May 1876. A year or two afterwards he built a large two-story business house, the second story, 35 X 60, being set apart for a town hall.

          On 16 Oct 1877, Joseph married Miss Tina POWELL, daughter of H. A. POWELL and granddaughter of James W. GIBSON. They have had several children. On 10 Mar 1884, a fire swept Corydon, and Mr. OWEN was one of the largest losers, his storehouse and hall being consumed. Nothing daunted, he rebuilt, providing himself with a larger and far better house. The second house was of brick and thought to be fireproof, but, on 09 Apr 1887, another and still larger fire swept Corydon, and Mr. OWEN was again burned out, house, stock and all. For the third time he has built again. There is no limit to his industry and enterprise.

          The grandfather of Mr. OWEN, Joseph OWEN, was one of the first Magistrates in Union County, and at one time, owned the Saline Salt Works in Illinois. His great uncle, Abraham OWEN, was killed at the battle of Tippecanoe, and his name is inscribed upon the Soldiers' Monument at Frankfort. He was a Colonel, commanding a regiment of Kentucky Troops.

          Mr. Owen has served as Trustee of the town and Public School, and has been a liberal contributor to every public enterprise. He is an enterprising, thrifty merchant.

Starling's History of Henderson County, Kentucky, 1887.


Joseph Owen age 18 is listed with Thomas W. Powell age 59, Page 55, House No. 54 and family.

J. V. Owen age 28, Page 287, House No. 6; Tina age 21; Powell (m) age 1; Laura Green (B) age 13; John McCorkelle age 21.

Joseph V. Owen - M. Christina Powell, 16 Oct 1877, Book 015, Page 112

Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS

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