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John W. Owen


Rev. John W. Owen, of Kittanning, was a man who was full of love and charity for his fellow man, true to his friends, firm in his attachments and unswerving in his convictions of the right. He commanded public respect, and his death was greatly deplored.

He was born near Clearfield, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1830, and was a son of John and Mary Owen.

He was reared in Clearfield county, and received but the limited education which that county then afforded. He was converted to Christianity in early life and subsequently became a minister of the Gospel in the church of the United Brethren in Christ, and was actively engaged in ministerial labor for nearly ten years, but was compelled by impaired health to retire from the ministry, much against his own wish and the desire of his congregation.
He then took up and successfully followed the practice of dentistry in the borough of Kittanning for a number of years, until influenced to turn his practice over into other hands, and gave his attention more fully to store-keeping, which he was carrying on in connection with the dental business. But finding that not fully remunerative, after a few years he gave his whole attention to the building, repairing and renting of tenant houses (to which he had been giving some attention in connection with his other business), and in which he was engaged at the time of his death. Mr. Owen was charitable and kind in disposition, and had a wide circle of friends.

December 20, 1861, he married Lavina C. Korb, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Korb, of Clearfield, Pa., who were natives of Germany.
To Rev. and Mrs. Owen were born six children, three of whom preceded their father to the better land. The remaining three are Isaac S., Martha E., who graduated in the Kittanning high school in 1884 and is now the wife of Thomas H. Logan, a prominent young business man of Logansport, Pa., and Sadie W.

Mrs. Owen is a member of the Methodist Protestant church and has always been kind to the afflicted and needy. As manager of her late husband's estate she has evinced good judgment and has met with fair success.

Among the papers of Rev. John W. Owen was found a biographical sketch of him, written by himself, which is modest and brief, and yet expressed in such simple and well-chosen language, that we quote concerning his ministry:

"I was born near Clearfield town, Clearfield county, Pa.; am a descendant of an old Revolutionary family, and was reared amid the disadvantages of a new county. I was converted to Christianity in 1847, was licensed to exhort in 1854, and licensed to preach in 1855, my first class being Liberty Valley in 1858. I attended conference at Williamsport, March, 1859, and was appointed to Penn's Valley, and afterwards to Wilmore in 1860, to Knoxdale in 1861 and 1862, and was ordained January 4, 1862. I spent 1863 and 1864 on the Mahoning district, where I suffered from diphtheria. In 1865 I applied for and received from conference a local relation and still continued to preach, but was compelled to quit before the close of the year on account of the state of my health, and moved to Kittanning, April 1st, 1866."

When Mr. Owen came to Kittanning, finding no church of his own denomination, he united with the Episcopal Methodist, and subsequently with the Protestant Methodist, to which he belonged at the time of his death. He passed from the scenes of his earthly labor June 13, 1885, and his remains were interred in the Kittanning cemetery.

Energetic as a business man, prominent as a temperance advocate, earnest as a church worker and useful as a minister, Rev. John W. Owen, when he died, left a vacant place that was hard to fill.

Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, 1891, pages 373-374


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