HON. J. S. OWENS. Among the most esteemed and respected citizens of Marion County, Arkansas, there is not one who is a more pleasant, or agreeable member of society, a more thorough or sagacious man of business, or a more public-spirited and capable official than J. S. Owens, who is the present representative of Marion County, Arkansas, in the State Legislature.
He was born in Alabama, February 19, 1851, a son of Thomas and Margaret (De Priest) Owens, who were natives of the Old North State. The Owens family came to this country from Ireland in an early day, the first member of the family here being the paternal great-grandfather, who was a participant in the Revolutionary War and afterward took up his home in North Carolina. The grand-father, Raymond Owens, became a resident of Carroll County, Ala., a wealthy planter, and is supposed to have been a soldier of the War of 1812. Thomas Owens was a young man when his father moved to Alabama. He married there and from that State enlisted in the Confederate service during the latter part of the war. In 1872 he moved to Marion County, Arkansas, and settled in Flippin Barrens, where he made his home until his death in 1887. He was a Whig before the war. His wife, who was a daughter of John De Priest, was of French descent and died when the subject of this sketch was a child. Their family consisted of seven children: John, who died during the war; Nancy J., who is the wife of J. M. Barnett, of Indian Territory; Joseph, a resident of Oklahoma; J. S.; Margaret, who is the wife of T. P. Flippin; William, who is living in Flippin Barrens, and Sally, the wife of Jesse Lovelady.
The school days of J. S. Owens were spent in Alabama, where he obtained a good, practical education, sufficient to fit him for the practical duties of life. He came to Marion County, Arkansas, with his father, and when twenty-two years of age started to do for himself as a tiller of the soil on Flippin Barrens, and two years later was united in marriage with Mary Flippin, a daughter of Perry Flippin and a niece of Judge Flippin. Mrs. Owens was born in this county in 1853, and after bearing her husband one son-Elmer O. died in 1878.
For his second wife Mr. Owens wedded Miss Caroline Duren, daughter of Carroll Duren, of this county. She was born in Fulton County, Arkansas, in 1860, but her parents were from Tennessee and became residents of Marion County, Arkansas, in 1868, locating on the farm on which Judge Owens is now living, where the father died in 1879. He was married to Margaret Baker, who still survives him and resides in this county. To them the following children were born: L. M., Louisa (McCarty), Margaret (Woods), Ann (Bryant), Linnie (Watts), James (who is dead) and Caroline (Owens). Mr. and Mrs. Owens have six children: Darthula, Grover T. Arkie L., Frank D., Tennesseeie L. and an infant.
Mr. Owens was elected to the office of justice of the peace in 1882, a position he held for six years in White River Township, and in 1888 was elected to the office of county judge, holding that office four years, being reelected in 1890. In 1892 he was chosen as a suitable person to represent Marion County in the State Legislature, and as he discharged his duties with marked ability and to the general satisfaction of all concerned and is a candidate for reflection, he will undoubtedly again be a member of the Legislative body. He has always been a Democrat, has taken an active part in the affairs of the county, and the cause of education has always found in him a liberal patron and supporter. He and his family are attendants of the Christian Church and are living about six miles from Yellville, on Cowan Barrens. He is a member of Union Lodge of the A. F. & A. M.