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
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.
and Historical Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, 1891, pages