WALTER D. and ARTHUR A. OWEN, who make up the firm of Owen Brothers, are the owners and proprietors of a large estate in section 12, Bunker Hill township, Macoupin County, which is known far and wide, as the Maple Dale Stock Farm. It consists of 120 acres which is operated exclusively as a stock farm. Both brothers were born on a farm near Redbud, Randolph County, Illinois, the former on August 5, 1858, and the latter on January 29, 1863. They are sons of William and Amanda (Durfee) Owen.
It is probable that the Owen family originated in Wales, and its first settler in America located in Rhode Island. One branch removed to Ohio, where Charles Owen, grandfather of the Owen Brothers, was born. He came to Randolph County, Illinois, one of that brave vanguard of pioneers who faced the hardest conditions in the earliest settlement of the southern portion of this great State. When the magnificent city of St. Louis, which has the eyes of the world centered upon her at present as a fit metropolis in which to hold a world's exposition, had but two dwellings, William Owen was a trader there, reaching that frontier post in his ox-team conveyance. He grew to manhood accustomed to his Indian neighbors with whom he appears to have been on friendly terms. The life of Charles Owen, the father of William, was mainly devoted to trapping and hunting. His six children were: William, James, Harrison, Robert, Augustus and Mrs. Harriet Harlow.
William Owen, father of Arthur A. and Walter D. Owens, was born in Randolph County, Illinois, December 14, 1819, and died at the Maple Dale Stock Farm, June 6, 1903, aged 83 years. He came to Macoupin County in 1865 and engaged in farming, prior to that time having followed the trade of plasterer in addition to farming. He was a Democrat in his political belief. During the Civil War he was a supporter of the administration, and sent a substitute to represent him in the army, his family of small children preventing his going. In his early years he was an active worker in the Baptist Church, of which he was a member until the close of his life. He was much respected and was noted for his quiet, peaceful disposition. On February 14, 1849, he married Amanda Durfee, who was born October 22, 1822, in Rhode Island, and was a daughter of Aaron and Ruth (Cook) Durfee, of Fall River, Massachusetts. The eight children of his marriage were: Ellen Amelia, born at Waterloo, Monroe County, Illinois, who resides at the present home of the subjects of this sketch; George H., who is at the present home of the subjects of this sketch; George H., who is a contractor and builder at Cloudcroft, New Mexico; Mrs. Hattie May Bainum, who resides at Olney, Illinois; Walter D., unmarried, who is one of the firm of Owen Brothers; Arthur A., a member of the firm of Owen Brothers; Annabelle R., who resides at Bunker Hill; Herbert, who died at the age of 16 years; and Ada, who lives at home.
Walter D. and Arthur A. Owen moved to the Maple Dale Stock Farm on June 7, 1865, and both have resided here ever since. They raise only high grade stock, either registered or eligible to register, making specialties of Shropshire sheep, and Poland-China hogs, keeping some 80 of the former and 50 of the latter. Their annual fall sales are looked for events and are largely attended. They have done much to raise the standard of stock in their vicinity.
Arthur A. Owen married Anna M. Milne, who was born in London, England, and is a daughter of Alexander and Emma Milne, natives of Scotland and England, respectively. Two sons have been born to this union, William and Eugene. Mr. Owen has held a number of the local offices. He is a Republican, while his brother, Walter D., is a Democrat.