Owen Frances

Owen Frances, a substantial and representative citizen of Lima,
president of the Citizens' Loan & Building Company, was born in Wales,
January 18, 1841, and is a son of Ellis and Catherine (Jones) Francis,
both natives of Wales.
           Our subject's parents came to America in 1852, settling for a
few years in Pennsylvania, but later locating permanently in the rich
farming districts of Ohio. Ellis Frances resided in Putnam County from
1855 to 1862, in which year he came to Allen County, where he died in
1879, survived by six of his eight children.
             Owen Frances, the eldest of the children, was reared a
farmer boy, and obtained his education in the localities in which the
family was settled during his youth. Almost before he had formed any
settled plans for his future, the Civil War broke out, and early in 1861
he donned a suit of Union Blue. After three months of service in the
21st Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., he reenlisted in the same year in Company
A. 57th Reg., Ohio , Vol. Inf., in which he rose from private through
successive promotions to be 1st lieutenant, being commissioned on
September 19, 1864, these promotions being the result of personal valor
and military ability. On March 12,1865, near Fayetteville, North
Carolina, while in charge of a foraging party, he was captured; he was
held as a prisoner of war for two months, part of the time in the
Bennettsville ( South Carolina ) jail. He was finally paroled, but as
the war closed soon after, he never saw more service with his regiment.
At the time of his capture, the colonel of his regiment had forwarded to
the War Department a recommendation that Mr. Francis be given a
captain's commission, but this he never received.
             Mr. Francis returned to Allen County after his military
service and in 1873 he was married fo Annie J. Lewis, a native of Wales,
but when married living in Delaware, Ohio.  Mr. and Mrs. Francis have
four children: Nannie, Richard Ellis, Edna and Hugh Lewis. The family
home is located at No. 125 South West street.
              In 1882 Mr. Francis established himself at Lima in the
boot and shoe business, which he carried on until April, 1900. He is a
business man whose prosperity well represents the commercial importance
of this city. Personally he is held in the highest esteem, the
confidence reposed in his reliability as well as capacity being shown by
his selection as president of the Citizens' Loan & Building Company, a
flourishing enterprise of Lima, which has been in business for almost a
quarter of a century. The 23rd annual report of the company, given
December 31, 1904, showed total assets amounting to $745,822.83, of
which $717,040.00 was in loans on mortgage security. The increase in
amount of assets for the year was $40,436.02.