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Hiram Colgrove Owen


Posted By: IAGenWeb Volunteer
Date: 6/30/2013 at 23:14:21

The Spirit Lake Beacon May 22, 1924


Hiram Colgrove Owen, of Scotch-Irish and Welch parentage, was born November 15th, 1832 at Sunderlinville, Pa.; his ancestors having removed from Wales to the United States prior to the Revolutionary War.

After completing Public School, he attended college at Academy Corners, Pa., coming West in 1855 at the age of 23 and locating at Eldora, Iowa.

In the spring of 1860 he moved to Spirit Lake, which has since been the family home.

His six living children are: Mrs. Emma Owen Smith of Rapid City, So. Dak.; Mrs. Ella Owen Smith of Ravinia, So. Dak.; Mrs. May Owen Francis of Des Moines, Iowa; Louis Hammond Owen of Pomona, California; Len W. Owen and Forrest E. Owen of Spirit Lake, Iowa.

His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and an officer under William Henry Harrison in 1812 and his own father, then only a boy, a volunteer in his grandfather’s Regiment.

The cockade hat and the old buff overcoat of a Revolutionary officer together with his grandfather’s sabre still remained in Mr. Owen’s boyhood home when he left.

One of Mr. Owen’s brothers was an officer in the Mexican War and four Owen brothers served in the Civil War. Hiram Colgrove on the Iowa Frontier during the Indian atrocities, one brother dying in the South during the war and buried in the Arlington National Cemetery and two brothers serving in the Army of the Potomac.

In September 1861, in company with Wm. Doughty, Frank Doughty, John Francis, Alvarado Kingman, Peter LaDoux, Frank Mead, Gunder Mathison, Jareb Palmer, George W. Rodgers, John W. Schuneman, James Shakleton, Homer Arthur and others of Spirit Lake and vicinity, Mr. Owen enlisted in what was then called the Sioux City Volunteer Cavalry and afterwards became Company I of the 7th Iowa Cavalry, officered with Andrew J. Millard, Captain, and James A. Sawyer 1st Lieutenant.

At times Mr. Owen was detailed to special duty as Steward in the Sioux City Military Hospital.

The most important battle this Company was engaged in was the Battle of White Stone Hill in Dakota, it patrolled the northwest as protection against the Red Man and at the time of the New Elm, Minnesota, massacre Mr. Owen’s squadron was the first to report at Spirit Lake, a welcome sight to the handful of women, children and old men gathered in the court house where they had been for days with but little food, no beds or comforts and frenzied with fright over the rumors of approaching Indians.

During the years of service for his country Mr. Owen furnished his own horse and saddle and received $13 per month during actual service and for injury received while stationed at Sioux City, a pension from his Government which gave him plenty and to spare for his simple wants during his old age.

One incident which connects up so many names of early days was the story of a supply expedition consisting of Peter LaDoux, father of Fred W. LaDoux, John Gilbert, father of "Dude" Gilbert, and two others , detailed to Fort Dodge for provisions for Spirit Lake’s use.

After much snow and a severe blizzard, such as Iowa pioneers had many occasions to remember, the expedition not returning at the time expected, volunteers were asked for a search party. Mr. Owen and Gunder Mathison, who still resides at Milford, responded and went out searching for their lost friends. They found them near what is now Rathvun. They were trying to make it on horse back without their loads and were without food for either themselves or their horses and nearly frozen; they faced into the wind and were brought back to the little settlement at Spirit Lake by these two.

Mr. Owen was honorably discharged from the army November 23rd, 1864 and continued to make his home at Spirit Lake.

As a younger man he partook of the home activities as County Assessor, Co. Road Supervisor, County Judge and Deacon of the little church then organized, and for many years taught the Bible class.

He was just honest, and fair in his dealings with his business associates, a kind and loving husband and father.

His life was typical of the life of the pioneer, his manhood clean and sturdy and never faltering though filled with many sorrows and almost insurmountable obstacles and his passing in his 92nd year is that of one who can "wrap the drapery of his couch about him and lie down to pleasant dreams," for he lived the best he knew and died as becomes a soldier.

He passed away at his home in Spirit Lake Thursday evening May 15th. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Edge at the home of L. W. Owen. Sunday afternoon. His children were all present except Louis Owen and Mrs. Emma Smith, who were unable to attend.


Dickinson Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
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