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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The associations of a lifetime bind Mr. Owen to Sacramento county in ties of deepest intimacy. Here he was born in the city of Sacramento December 26, 1863; here he received a fair education in the city schools; here he entered upon life's activities as a member of the great army of farmers whose efforts have transformed the commonwealth into a garden spot of beauty and productiveness ; and here he now owns and occupies a ranch of five hundred acres near Bruceville. The raising of grain is the principal business on the farm, but stock is also kept, and hogs particularly have proved a profitable investment. A fine orchard of twenty-five acres of Bartlett pears, apricots and plums is to be seen on the farm, and the marketing of the fruit adds to the annual income in a gratifying degree. The entire appearance of the tract indicates the thrift and energy of the proprietor and furnishes silent testimony as to his farming ability.

The Owen family has been identified with American history for several generations. The first of the name in the new world settled in New England, according to tradition. The exact date of immigration is unknown. Suffice it to state that there were a goodly number of the name to assist in the agricultural upbuilding of the northeast. Eben Owen was born in Portland, Me., November 26, 1812, and at- tended the common schools of his native city. At the age of sixteen he left school and began to assist his father in a general mercantile store, continuing in the same establishment until he had reached the age of thirty-six. A desire to see something of the world led him to New Orleans, where he taught in the city schools for one year. About that time the discovery of gold brought California into world-wide prominence, and he determined to join the thousands of Argonauts seeking fortunes there. By way of the Isthmus of Panama he came to California in 1849 and landed in San Francisco, whence he proceeded immediately to Michigan Bar, a mining camp of great temporary importance. For one year he followed the adventurous and exciting existence of a miner.

Upon leaving the mines and establishing headquarters in Sacramento Mr. Owen opened a wholesale grocery establishment, which he conducted with remarkable success. In 1857 he sold the business, returned to Maine and at Portland, July 30, of the same year, was united in marriage with Miss Mary Dole, who was born at Alna, Lincoln county, that state. Accompanied by his wife, he again came to California in 1858 and settled in Sacramento, where their happy wedded life was terminated by the death of Mrs. Owen September 28. 1865. He long survived her, living retired from business activities, but personally superintending his property interests until shortly before his demise, which occurred October 28, 1892. He left two sons, Eben B., who is a farmer on a part of the old home, and Harry Dole Owen. The latter had been of the greatest help to him during his later years, for he personally cultivated the large ranch of thirteen hundred acres, attended to the dairy department of the ranch, took charge of the sowing of the grain, worked untiringly in harvesting, threshing and marketing the wheat, and proved altogether a genuine talent for agricultural work. His subsequent prosperity proves that he made no mistake when he selected ranching for his chosen occupation. His ranch comprises five hundred and twenty-two acres, located on the Cosumnes river, about one and one-half miles east of Bruceville. Irrigation for the ranch is supplied by means of a ditch from the Cosumnes as well as a pumping plant.

December 15, 1886, H. D. Owen was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Utter, a native of Franklin, Sacramento county, and a woman of capability and education. They are the parents of three children, namely: William E., born November 16, 1887; Mary Gladys, May 1, 1889, and Dorothy Grace, who was born November 22, 1894, and died July 5, 1910, when almost sixteen years of age. Mr. Owen is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America, and with his wife and family is associated by membership with the Bruceville Methodist church. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011