Dallas Morning News
12 January 1930
BROTHER AND SISTER EACH LIVING TO SEE FOURTH GENERATION OF BOTH FAMILIES
(Special to The News)
Van Alstyne, Texas, Jan. 11 - The eighty-eighty milestone in the
life of J.P. Owenby of Orangeville, near Whitewright, was passed Friday.
Mr. Owenby was born Jan. 19, 1842, in Marshall County, Tennessee.
He was one of eleven children of Mr. and Mrs. Elie Gerald Owenby. His mother
died in 1862, leaving a group of young children to be taken care of.
Mrs. J.L. Taylor of Pilot Grove, a sister of Mr. Owneby, was then 11 years
old, and she being the oldest girl, it became her lot to look after the
five younger children.
Although Mr. Owenby is now growing feeble and his eyesight is dim
and his hearing almost gone, he is still able to tell many interesting
facts concerning his early life and war time experiences. Mr. Owenby
enlisted in the Tennessee Western Division of the Confederate Army in the
beginning of the war. He served under Generals Johnson, Acord and Bragg
and was several times taken prisoner.
"I carried in my vest pocket a small testament which I often read,"
Mr. Owenby said. "I promised the Lord that if I lived, was spared,
and reached home again, I would served the Lord the rest of my life.
When I returned home my mother was dead and I helped my father reconstruct
a shattered home and provide food and clothing for younger brothers and
sisters. We had to work at anything we could to get food and clothing.
After I returned from the war I united with the Methodist Church
and have endeavored since that time to be faithful to my promise."
Mr. Owenby was married Oct. 16, 1873, to Miss Martha Jane Taylor.
It was a double wedding, his sister marrying J.L. Taylor, the brother of
Mr. Owenby's wife. The wedding ceremony took place at the home of
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson Taylor in Tennessee.
"In 1882 we came to Texas, making the trip by train." Mr. Owenby
said. "We rode on the train as far as Sherman, then got in a wagon
and drove some twenty miles south and east to where the community of Pilot
Grove is located, ten miles east of Van Alstyne. I arrived at Pilot
Grove with $14 in cash, a wife and four children. The first two or
three years at Pilot Grove were hard ones. Cotton went as low as
4c and everything else we had to sell was low in proportion. But
this depression did not last. Later on I bought a farm located just north
of Pilot Groave, and still later bought a larger farm, four miles north
of Pilot Grove. I lived on the last farm until about a year ago,
when I moved over to Orangeville, a few miles out of Whitewright, where
I am making my home with my son, J.P. Owenby."
On Sept. 25, 1927, a family reunion of the six living brothers and
sisters was held at the home of Dave Taylor, son of Mrs. Taylor, this being
the first time some of them had met in half a century. The average
age of the brothers and sisters at that time was 77 years. Mr. Owenby
and Mrs. Taylor have each lived to see four generations of their respective
families and each has a comfortable home with his or her descendants.