W. B. Owen, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .
Transcribed biography of W. B. Owen
W. B. OWEN, SR., of the firm of Hinchliff & Owen, brick-yards, at Porter, was born June 5, 1834, in Crown Point, N.Y. He is the only child of Hiram and Betsy Owen, both natives of New York. The elder Owen was a stone-cutter; the ancestors were purely Yankee. Mr. Owen's father and mother both died when he was nine years old. He was thrown on his own resources without even a guardian, and worked on farms until about seventeen, when he entered the machine shops at Springfield, Mass., for about ten years. At Boston, he worked for the next five years at the same trade. At the end of this time, he went to Salt Lake City, having traveled with mules 1,700 miles to Virginia City, where he worked in the mines one summer. In the fall he came to Chicago, where he remained about five years, engaged in the machine shops about two years, and afterward in the brick-yard business. On December 12, 1867, he married Annie Pride, a native of Glasgow, Scotland. He then went to Champaign, Ill., and began farming 640 acres of land, one of the best farms of the county, but it being the dry year of the great fire, he remained but twelve months. He then went to Porter Station and started what was known as the old "Kellogg" brick-yard. He soon bought a third interest in one of his present yards, owned at that time by Moulding & Harland; after being partner for a time, he sold out and was the foreman for about seven years. He then bought out the senior member, and fourteen acres of brick-yard of a Mr. Tuttle. The firm then bought nineteen acres of Mr. Hageman, on which they established a steam yard, with the capacity of 30,000 bricks per day. The firm then bought 200 acres woodland of Mr. George Morgan, and also the Waterbury & Mills brick-yard, at Hobart, Ind., where they put in steam appliances; capacity 40,000 per day. Harland then sold his interest to Hinchliff, of Chicago, with whom Mr. Owen is at present partners. The firm put in a 2,200 foot side track connecting the yards with the L. S. & M. S. Ry. The firm now have 150 hands employed in Porter and Hobart (100 in Porter), all steam yards, with a capacity of 65,000 per day in Porter, and 105,000 in Porter and Hobart. Mrs. Owen kept from fifteen to twenty-five boarders in Porter for about seven years, and in the interim built a residence in Chicago, and bought 110 acres of woodland near Porter Station, the latter through Mrs. Owen's personal efforts. Mr. O. is a member of the F. and A. M. order and a stanch Republican. He has three children - Jesse C., Leonard and an infant.
Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 307
This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.
Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook