Biographies -- O

Orton, Philo A.

Osborn, Sylvester W.

Osborn, Charles F.

Otis, Dr. charles G.

Otis, James E.


OWENS, MATTHEW who has charge of the business of the Tuttle Lumber Company at Humboldt, Minnehaha county, SD claims as the place of his nativity the old Pine Tree state, having been born in Franklin county, Maine, on the 5th of June, 1852, and being a son of Thomas and Abigail (Tarr) Owens, the former of whom was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, while the latter was born in Maine. The father of the subject was reared and educated in the Emerald Isle, where he remained until he had attained the age of twenty-three years, when he emigrated to America, where he believed better opportunities were afforded for the attaining of success through individual effort. He located in the state of Maine, where his marriage occurred, and in 1852 he removed thence with his family to Wisconsin, becoming one of the pioneers of Lafayette county, that state, where he continued to reside until 1864, when he located in Wabasha county, Minnesota, where he continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits until his death, his wife also passing the closing years of her life in said county. Of their twelve children five are yet living, the subject of this sketch having been the ninth in order of birth. Matthew Owens passed his boyhood days in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where he secured such educational advantages as were afforded in the public schools in the meanwhile assisting his father in the work of the farm. At the age of twenty-one years he secured employment in a hardware store at Plain View. Minnesota, and there learned the tinner's trade to which he gave his attention until 1879 when he came to the present state of South Dakota and cast in his lot with its pioneers. He arrived at his destination on the 22d of July and shortlv afterward filed entry upon a homestead claim in Buffalo township, Minnehaha county, retaining the property in his possession for two years and then exchanging the same for a farm about a mile distant from the same. There he continued to be engaged in farming and stock growing for the ensuing two years, at the expiration of which he removed to Madison, Lake county, where he followed the work of his trade for the following four years, within which time he assisted in the erection of the normal school building and other large structures. He thereafter devoted his attention to the cultivation of his farm until 1891, when he took up his residence in Montrose, McCook county, and there engaged in the hardware business. In the following year he sold his farm, and in December, 1893, his hardware establishment was destroyed by fire, entailing practically a total loss, with no insurance indemnity, and under these adverse conditions he found it expedient to again resume work at his trade, which he there followed for two years. In 1898 Mr. Owens came to Humboldt and accepted his present position in charge of the local interest of the Tuttle Lumber Company, in which connection he has accomplished an excellent work in extending the scope of the business, while he is also a stockholder in the Farmers' Bank and the owner of good town property In politics Mr. Owens is arrayed in support of the principles of the Populist party, and he has shown a deep interest in public affairs and in the furthering of the cause of his party. He has held various township and school offices, and in 1890 was candidate on the independent ticket for representative of his district making a spirited canvass, but meeting defeat with the remainder of the ticket. He is identified in a fraternal way with the local lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and also with that of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. On the 13th of October, 1875, in Minnesota, Mr. Owens was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Fricke, who was born in the state of New York, of staunch German lineage, and of their children we enter the following brief record: Earl G. died at the age of nine years; Mabel I. completed her education in a normal school at Winona, Minnesota, and is now a successful teacher in the public schools of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Alfred E., who was born in the original sod house built by his father on section 3, Buffalo township, on the 30th of December, 1880, a winter memorable in the annals of the state by reason of its extreme severity, was a young man of fine character and marked ability, and a most promising life was cut short by his death, at Lead in the Black Hills, on the 22d of March, 1904; Mattie was graduated in the state normal school in Madison, as a member of the class of 1904, and remains at the parental home, as do also the younger daughters, Annie and Minnie.

Biography in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) on pages 1420-1421


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