HENDERSON PATON OWENS. One of the old American families and one which furnished a branch of the tree of the State and of the Republic of Texas is represented in the person of H. P. Owens, the subject of this notice. Southern in origin and by inclination, the family has traversed the states from Alabama to Missouri, and to Texas within the past century and has ever contributed its mite toward the development of the frontier and the formation of its society.
Henderson P. Owens was born in Titus county, Texas, April 9, 1852, where Jonathan Owens, his father, settled in 1844. He emigrated from Platte county, Missouri, to the Lone Star state and let a plain farmer life in Titus and Denton counties until after the Civil war, when he took his family back to his old Missouri home and there he passed away in September, 1871, at sixty-five years of age. The father was born in Alabama in 1806, as his age at death would indicate, and accompanied his father, Jesse Owens, the grandfather of our subject, in the early years of the century just closed, to Platte county, Missouri and served in the Black Hawk war from that state. He married Elizabeth Murphy, who died at Pella, Texas, in 1889, their children being: Jesse C., of Wise county; Mary F., widow of J. T. Lille, of Chicasha, Indian Territory; Henderson P.; and Annie, deceased wife of Dr. Murphy, of Pella, Texas, who left behind a family at death in 1900.
Jesse Owens was born in Wales, in 1741, came to America when a boy, served in the armies of General Washington during the Revolution and fought in and was wounded in the battle of Brandywine. He followed the vocation of a farmer and passed away in Clay county, Missouri, in 1825. For his wife he married a Miss Biggerstoff, who lived to the advanced age of ninety-two and died at Pilot Point, Texas, in 1857. Their children were Jonathan and a daughter, Margaret, who married Theodore Fitzgerald and lives in Garfield county, Nebraska.
Henderson P. Owens was a boy in Titus and Denton counties, Texas, until 1867, when his parents returned to Missouri and there he passed from youth to man’s estate. His education was obtained in Missouri and in Denton county, Texas. His advent to Montague county dates in 1878 when he came with a team and wagon, and a small amount of money, and began his career by purchasing a two hundred acre tract on the waters of Denton creek on time. His mother accompanied him hither and they made their home in the proverbial log cabin of that day, and he made is serve him from August 29, 1880, until 1895, when he erected his present commodious and attractive home.
As a citizen Mr. Owens has been quiet and without aspirations beyond the scenes of the farm and to rear an honorable and useful prosperity. Cotton, grain and corn have yielded him his success on the farm, and his site is one of the attractive landscape features of his locality.
Mr. Owens married Helen, a daughter of W. H. Wright. The Wrights were from California and first settled in Cooke county, Texas, from where they came to Montague. They had three sons and as many daughters, and Mrs. Owens was born in Little River county, Arkansas, April 22, 1856. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Owens are: Bertie, for four years a teacher in the public schools, was educated in the Pella and Alvord schools; Dixie, who is a valuable aid to the family circle; Ethel, wife of John Gipson, a young farmer near by; Sanford; Henrietta; Blanche; and James, completing the list.
While Mr. Owens is a mild party man in politics and a Democrat, he is content to simply cast his ballot and let the results be what they may. He has brought up his family in a God-fearing home and owns fealty to the Christian church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 564-565.