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Robert (Bob) Lee Owens

Information By: Michael Owens, grandson of Columbus Woddard Owens

Family record of Robert (Bob) Lee Owens and Caroline
Full name:  Robert (Bob) Lee Owens

Birth Date:   August 12, 1854
Birth Place:  Rome, Georgia
Death Date:  August 29, 1935
Burial Place:  Refuge Cemetery, East of Grapeland in Houston Co. Texas

Houston Co. Tx Death records Vol 6 p 81 spells last name Ownes and gives the father as Oberah [spelling error] - Cause of death is listed as Chronic intestinal nephritis - from death certificate.

Fathers Name:   Obediah Union Owens b. January, 1823 in South Carolina, died October 29. 1885 in Kingston, Bartow Co., GA and buried at Old Macedonia Baptist Cemetery in Bartow GA. 

First wife was Lucinda, married abt 1843 reported to be 1/4 Cherokee Indian from South Carolina.
Second wife was Mary White Hembree born abt 1835 married in 1847, was daughter of Eluhu Hembree and Eunice Woffore.
Occupation Merchant &Farmer in Houston County TX

Education Could read and write in 1880.

Comments Robert lived in Grapeland near his younger brother James Mulkie Owens.  James Mulkie and his father-in-law John Nelson Parker were owners of a Houston County dry good and merchant.

Marriage:  1879 in Houston Co. TX

Name of spouse: Caroline (Callie) Denson Owens

Birth Date:  January 25, 1856
Death Date: 8-29-1939

Birth Place: Home, Houston Co. TX
Burial Place: Refuge Cemetery. East of Grapeland, Houston Co. Texas died of carcinoma of nose
Spouse Father: O'Conner Denson b. 1813, N. Carolina
Spouse Mother: Mary Anna Swaggard b. 1816 in Baden-Baden, Germany. Mary was an orphan died between 1882 and 1890 and is buried in the Grapeland City Cemetery, Houston Co. Tx.
Occupation:  Homemaker -  Education: could read and write in 1880.  Callie was a twin of Adeline Denson. Adeline Denson married George Tyler

Children of Robert and Callie Owens:
1.  Bertin Levandas Owens b. 10-8-1879 d. 6-14-1947, married  Nancy Joanna Williams
2.  Bertia Owens b. 9-1880 d. about 1882
3. Thomas (Tom) W.Owens b. 12-24-1881 d.10-31-1888
4. Ollie Owens
5. Lonnie Owens
6. William Claude Owens b.1-27-1885 d.11-26-1973, married Virginia Telitha Brown
7. Linnie Owens b. 2-25-1887 d.3-20-1975, married Bob Yates
8. Walter O. Owens b. 11-1889, married Allie Marshall
9. Libby Jean Owens b. 9-3-1891 d. 7-1-1979, married Lewis Turner
10. Columbus Woddard(Jack)Owens b 3-7-1892 d. 7-1-1971, married Effie Leola Cutler
11. Julia Owens b. 12-1893 d. 7-1-1985, married Homer Wright
12. Beulah Elizabeth Owens b. 7- 27-1895 d. 3-1-1990, married Ben Brimberry
13. Mina Owens b. 4-1898 d. 9-16-1994, married Otis Brown
14. Alma Lee Owens b. 9-16-1899 d. 1-6-1984, married John Kirkpatrick

Robert was born in Gordon County, Georgia and moved to Texas about 1872.  In 1870 Bob is listed in the census as living with his grandfather Anderson Owens in Bartow Co. Georgia.  He moved through Georgia to Texas and lived in Leon County Texas. He came to Texas working for the International and Great Northern Railroad clearing right of way for tracks. When the railroad was laying track in Houston County east of Grapeland Bob came in contact with the Denison family. Bob is of Welsh decent.


Bob (age 25) married Callie Denson (age 22) in 1879 in Houston County Texas.

The Denson family joined the Predestinarean Baptist Church on September 5, 1835 and it is said they were a very religious family. There is some confusion about where they lived during the first two years of their marriage but they settled on Denson family land in 1879 in Houston County TX. The property is behind the Brown cemetery east of Grapeland near San Pedro Creek and close to the Refuge cemetery. There is a small cemetery on the property.

In October 1891 James Mulkie Owens, a brother lived in Grapeland TX and operated a grocery store with Nat Campbell.   In October 1893 Nat Campbell left town and James assumed part of the store. In 1900 James Mulkie and his father-in-law John Nelson Parker are owners of the store. The store burned in the 1913 fire that destroyed down town Grapeland. James Mulkie moved to the Austin TX area about 1919 after the death of his father-in-law John Nelson Parker.  James died in Richardson, Texas and is buried in the Parker Cemetery in Houston County TX.

Bob was a farmer and with his wife Callie they raised their 10 children on land she inherited from her father. Caroline (Callie) Owens' aunt was Caroline L. (Houston) Denson, a niece of Sam Houston, the president of the Republic of Texas. The Denson Family has a family cemetery in Houston Co. Texas. There is a record from the 1900 census that indicated Caroline and Bob Owens had 14 children and listed 10 as living.  It is possible that Ollie and Lonnie may have been twins they are probably buried at the Tyre Cemetery in Houston Co. as unmarked graves. This information was from Leola Cutler Owens as she related that her unnamed child was also buried at Tyre cemetery. There is a marked grave in the Tyre Cemetery for Thomas W Owens. It is a small headstone as Tom died at age seven. From time to time their children lived with Bob and Caroline until the nineteen thirties.

Robert was listed as a road overseer in the February 12, 1892 list from the commissioners court of Houston County. Robert was in charge of precinct 2. The May 27, 1892 newspaper in Crockett listed the attendees of the People’s Party Convention in Houston County including Robert Owens as one of the precinct chairman from Grapeland. The party was affiliated with the Peoples Party that met in St. Louis Missouri in February 22 1892. Robert is listed in the March 8, 1895 newspaper from Crockett on the delinquent tax list as having 112 acres of land that were from S. Rogers as the original grantee.

In his last years Robert was living with his children is said to have walked with a cane or at least kept one to poke at children.
He had a low tolerance for the grandchildren in his later life. The family was close to the Densons’ as well. Callie’s brother John Denson was blind and played the violin. John was known to come to the family farm and play the violin, until 1930, for children as they played around a cemetery on the Denson property at a place called the Johnson cemetery at that time.  After Robert Owens died his wife Callie lived with her children until her death. She was living with Columbus Woddard Owens when she died. It is reported that the cancer of the nose had disfigured her terribly before she died.

There is a photograph of the Robert Owens family in the book Crossroads published by the Houston County Historical Society in Houston County TX. Robert and Callie are buried at Refuge cemetery in Houston County TX under a simple cement headstone. They were lifelong Houston county residents and except for moving to Texas before they were married there is no record they resided anywhere other than Houston County Texas.

Data compiled 2009 by:  Michael Owens, 27106 Windy Grove, Cypress TX 77433