Subjects of Perrin, Battle & Kniffin 1885 Biographies

From: Kentucky, A History of the State. Perrin, Battle & Kniffin. 2nd ed., 1885, Webster Co.
WILLIAM S. NORTHEN was born in what is now Webster County, Ky., July 17, 1852, and is a son of Thomas Y. and Rebecca (Kennada) Northen. He was employed on his father's farm until he attained his majority, after which he bought some fifty acres of wild land of his father, near Providence, which he has since improved and now owns, and to which he has added from time to time, now owning a well-improved farm of 230 acres. He is also quite extensively engaged in stock raising. He was married, October 7, 1874, to Miss Eliza B. Thomas, a native of Hopkins County, Ky. Two sons and two daughters gladden their home. Mr. Northen is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and in politics a Democrat.

JOHN W. ORSBURN was born in what is now Webster County, Ky., July 5, 1828, son of Randolph and Frances (Mooney) Orsburn. He is one of a numerous family and is of Scotch-Irish descent. His father was a North Carolinian, born in Rutherford County, October 13, 1795, and his mother was born in the same county in 1799. The Orsburns came originally from Scotland. Subject's father emigrated from North Carolina to Henderson County Ky., in 1818, and died in 1868. The mother of our subject died four years before his father's death. Mr. Orsburn, on coming of age, began farming for himself, and has since continued that occupation, save a short time when he resided in Sebree. His farm, which is one of the finest in Webster County, is located about three miles west of Sebree, and contains 550 acres. He was married April 24, 1851 to Miss Nancy S. Whitsell, a native of Hopkins County, Ky., born July 23, 1832. The Whitsell family came from Georgia. To Mr. and Mrs. Orsburn have been born eleven children: Arbelia, Mary F., Anna C., Lynn B., Sallie F., Donia E., Luke T., John G., Charles M., William R., and James M. Mr. and Mrs. Orsburn are members of the Christian Church. For fifty-six years, Mr. Orsburn has resided near where he was born, and is one of the few men, now living, who have resided in Webster County for more than a half century. He is a Democrat.

R.M. ORSBURN is a native of what was formerly Henderson County (now Webster), Ky. He was born November 5, 1841, to Randolph and Frances (Mooney) Orsburn (see sketch of John W. Orsburn). Subject is the youngest of a family of thirteen children. At the age of twenty-one, he began life for himself, and in 1869 settled where he now resides, where he has one of the finest farms in Webster County. The farm contains 206 acres, and is well improved. In March, 1864, he married Miss Nancy E. Allen, a native of Webster County. This union has been blessed with five children, viz: David R., Dora, Minnie, Viola and Antonie. In 1861, Mr. Orsburn enlisted in Company C, Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, Confederate States army. He was discharged in 1863, and since then has continued farming. He is a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Seymour. Mr. and Mrs. Orsburn are members of the General Baptist Church. For forty-two years, he has been living within a short distance of his birth place.

ISAAC OSBURN was born June 22, 1820, in Spencer County, Ky., and was reared in Nelson County. He opened a blacksmith shop in Providence, and carried on business there about fourteen. years. He then moved to Madisonville, where he carried on the same business for about fifteen years. In 1874 he came to Dixon, where he has since been engaged in the blacksmithing business. He was married to Sallie Bailey, a native of Hopkins County, July 2, 1847. This union has been blessed with four children. His son, John L., became a partner in the business with him in 1876. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

FRANK A. OWEN was born May 16, 1845, in Madisonville, Ky.; in 1853 he removed with his parents to Uniontown; in 1856 to Hopkins County; in 1859, to Dallas, Tex., and in 1861 returned to Kentucky, where he enlisted in the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, Confederate States army. In 1862 he entered the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, Confederate States army, in which he remained until the close of the late war. In 1865 he commenced business as a commercial traveler from Evansville, Ind., in which he was successful, and in 1882 located at Slaughterville, engaging in the grocery business, in connection with which he has established a successful trade in the field, seed and grain business. His father, Dr. Abraham B. Owen, a native of Union County, was born in 1811, and died in 1872. He was the son of Joseph, who was born in 1773, and who died in 1829. Josephs's father was Brackett Owen, of Prince Edward County, Va., a Revolutionary soldier, who removed to Kentucky, and located near the present town of Shelbyville in 1783. He was the son of David D. Owen, a native of Wales. Brackett Owen's children were Capt. Jacob, born in 1763, died in 1804; Nancy O. Given, 1765, died 1805; Capt. John, 1767, died in 1822; Col. Abraham, 1769, died in 1811; Maj. David, 1771, died 1832; Joseph (as above); Robert 1774, died 1856; William 1776, died 1837; and Samuel 1782. Dr. Abraham B. Owen espoused in marriage Rachel F., daughter of John and Nandy (Allin) Browder, of Hopkins County (born in 1821, now living), and their offspring are Frank A., Dr. Abraham M., Dr. John E. and Dollie E. (Owen). In youth Frank A. received a good English education, and by a liberal course of reading and application is possessed of a varied fund of general information. He first married November 5, 1873, Josie, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Babcock) Haff, of Evansville, Ind. (born 1846, died July 22, 1874). April 14, 1880, he married Ida A., daughter of Richard M. and Keturah (Dixon) Allin, of Henderson, Ky. (born December 19, 1857), and to them have been born Allin Browder, Ruth Fayon and Frank A., The children of Joseph, the son of Brackett Owen, were Nancy (Blue), Lewis, Austin, Permelia, Valentine, William W., Elizabeth O. (Sweatman), Henry H., Abraham B., Jane O. (Smith), Paulina O. (Kinkead), Joseph and Robert. The Owen family have participated largely in the wars of the country and have figured extensive in the battles of the Republic.

JAMES D. PALMER, Webster County, county surveyor, was born December 31, 1832, in Henry County, Tenn. He is a son of John L. and Martha (Doris) Palmer, natives of Kentucky. At an early day they moved to Tennessee, and remained until 1840, when they returned to Kentucky and settled in what is now Webster County, In 1846 the father left for Texas, but died on the way, aged forty-four. The mother died in 1859, aged forty-eight. Our subject in youth received a good education. At the age of eighteen he taught one session, after which he took up surveying, which profession he has since followed, and on the organization of Webster County, he was appointed surveyor; after serving ten years he resigned, but is now serving his third term. He owns a farm of eighty acres, one mile northeast of Providence, on which he resides. He was married, in 1863, to Martha J. Mooney, of Webster County. Five sons and one daughter have blessed their union.

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