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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
William A. Owens

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 365-366 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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William A. Owens, retired manufacturer, was born in Newport, New York, on August 14, 1858, the son of Edward and Elinor (Hughes) Owens, the former of whom was a tanner by trade, was born in Wales or England, and died in Poland, town of Russia, New York. His wife was born in Wales and died in Poland, New York.

William A. Owens received his early education at a district school in Poland, New York. At the age of seventeen he became associated with L. G. Rankin in the town of Little Falls, New York, where he was employed for three years in learning the cheese manufacturing business. He then worked for various people who were engaged in the cheese business, for eight years, after which he became a partner in a cheese factory in the town of Danube, with the late D. H. Burrell, and they were in business together for twenty-five years. Mr. Owens then moved to Herkimer, New York, and became interested in the Hale Company, manufacturers of sectional bookcases, where he remained two years. In 1910 he sold out his interest and retired from active business.

On January 4, 1882, in Poland, town of Russia, New York, Mr. Owens was united in marriage to Miss Flora May, daughter of Maresena and Mary (Bowen) May, who was born on October 25, 1859, and died on June 16, 1894, in the town of Danube, New York. Maresena May, a farmer by occupation, was born in the town of Newport, New York, and died there. His wife was born in the town of Deerfield and died in Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Owens were the parents of four children: Lula Mary Owens, born on March 20, 1883, graduated from Little Falls high school in 1902, and from the State Normal College, in Albany, in 1906. She has taught in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in several schools in her native state, and is now a teacher in the public schools of Herkimer; Mary Lida Owens was born on March 1, 1885, and educated in the Little Falls public schools. In October, 1904, she was married to Reuben Klock, who was born on December 1, 1878, the son of Byron and Martha (Cristman) Klock of the town of Danube, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Klock have three children, William Byron Klock, born on April 17, 1909; Marion Elizabeth Klock, born on June 10, 1912, and Dean Richard Klock, born on October 23, 1918; Leroy Owens was born on September 23, 1889, and graduated from the Herkimer high school in 1908, after which he entered the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with the class of 1913, with the degree of D. D. S. He is now practicing in Rochester, New York; Miss Ethel Beatrice Owen was born on January 16, 1894, attended Herkimer public school, graduated from the Utica Business Institute in 1921, and is now associated with H. G. Munger & Company of Herkimer.

At Cold Brook, New York, on November 14, 1900, Mr. Owens was married to Miss Bertha McVoy, who was born on May 17, 1877, daughter of Romain and Emily S. (Kelly) McVoy. Romain McVoy was born in the town of Russia, New York, and died in Cold Brook on September 9, 1888. His wife was born on April 27, 1850, in Oneida county, New York, and is now living in Herkimer with her daughter. Mrs. Owens is a member of the First Baptist church of Herkimer and in politics she is a republican. Mr. Owens is a member of the American Mechanics of Little Falls, and at one time was a school trustee in the town of Danube. He was loan commissioner of the state of New York for fifteen years. His church associations are with the First Baptist church of Herkimer. He is a republican in politics and fishing is his chief diversion. As a business man Mr. Owens has been conspicuous among his associates for his fairness and honorable methods, and he is today numbered among Herkimer's most public-spirited citizens.

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