*Notes of Naomi Ruth Owens Hawk (daughter of David Moore Owens and Bertha Frances Sample:
From my Uncle John Madison Owens-June 30, 1869-Sept 29, 1947
His Parents: Francis M and Rebecca moved to Missouri near Poplar Bluff in Dec 1884. Rebecca died in 1886. Francis M took the boys, John, James, David and Gussie back to Kentucky for 14 months or so. Came back and in August 1887 married Eliza Dunivan. Lived in Ellsinore when Becca died. He lived all round Bluff, moved to Howell County, Missouri. Gussie died there (Result of beating by Eliza). In March 1888 (see Gussie’s death date, (September 4, 1888), but maybe he was telling it like it occurred to him) Francis M was running a sawmill for the old J. W. Stepp out on “Cato” Slough. This would have been north and west of Sturdivant, on what is now part of Oma Kirkpatrick’s farm. On August 30, 1888 he left and went to Howell County, there Gussie died.
From my Uncle Jim Owens: (confirmed by his children)
In Howell County, Eliza had her first daughter (Frances Lucinda Owens) in February 1888 and was by September I guess, expecting Mary Belle, the second daughter. So it’s easy to see how she could be upset. Gussie was youngest of 4 boys of “Becca”, he would have been nearly 8 years old. Dad (David) would have been 10. For whatever she began to beat Gussie with a “Pretty Big” stick. When James, 14 or so, came in, Gussie was down on the floor, David was trying to get the stick away from her. Jim grabbed her by the hair, jerking her backward, David got the stick from her and began to hit her with it. So it was; James yanking her by the hair and David hitting her with the stick, when Francis Marion came in, he stopped the fight. Gussie died in a day or two. My Dad never spoke of it, trauma could have buried it in his mind. But Jim told his children.
*Notes from Naomi Ruth Owens Hawk: From an old copy of Uncle John’s writings;
Story of and by John Madison Owens, June 30, 1869 to Sept 29, 1947
I, the oldest of the four boys, was a graduate of “Common School”. My last course was at Poplar Bluff, Missouri in High School, but I did not get to finish the term. I took up the lumber business and followed it for a number of years. I was converted on February 26, 1910 in my thirty-eighth year. I was later ordained to the gospel work with the General Baptist, and tried to convince this method of doctrine until September 26, 1920. God anointed me for a message for the Lord of His soon Coming and a 1000 years reign of Christ in Righteousness when all things being restituted for Christ ?xxxxxx? turn it all over to the Father. This was no popular doctrine, and because of my belief I have been driven on the uneven seas of time and felt at times to be almost deserted. But, this is the faith I am grounded in, and I know I will have a place in the Kingdom of God. “May God bless my Lineage and Following.” Just a brief, May 27, 1936
From John M Owens, A Brief;
I was born June 30, 1869 at Boxville, Kentucky. I Came to Missouri December 1884 with my parents. (Francis Marion Owens & Rebecca Jane Cowan Owens). I Received Common School education at Oak Grove and Bourdley, Kentucky. I Took my graduation in Teacher Institute at Bourdley in summer term of 1883. I Attended High School in Poplar Bluff, Missouri during the fall and winter term of 1884/1885. Mother died February 1885 (Note by Ruth, she died Jan 25, 1886). Father moved out of Poplar Bluff to Ten Mile, a lumber mill, in the fall of 85. Then in 1886 we moved to Empire, 5 miles east of Poplar Bluff. (This nearer time of Becca’s death, *Ruth note) In September, Dad and my three brothers and I went back to Kentucky (stayed with Francis’ sister, Martha “Aunt Matt” Ann Owens Harding). Came back to Missouri landed at home with Father June 24, 1887. I remained at home for the summer, helping Father run a sawmill, but latter part of fall I came to Puxico and worked for T. J. Moss Tie Co., until the last of January 1888. After which I went to “Preach” at Orchard, Arkansas. So ?xxxx? went to Peach Orchard, Arkansas, stayed with the Micheury Lumber Company till March 27, 1888. Left there and came to Sturdivant, Missouri arriving March 30, 1888. Went out to Cato Slough, where Father was operating a sawmill for James W. Stepp. Father left on August 30, 1888 and moved to Howell County, Missouri. On August 19, 1888 I was Married to Lucinda, Daughter of James W. Stepp, and took charge of Mr. Stepp’s sawmill. We sawed out on Cato Slough and moved the mill up on the Castor river just one mile east of Greenbrier, where I operated the fall and winter and spring of 1888 and 1889. On August 10, 1889 Lucinda died, our son Oral, born on August 8, 1889, died on August 19, just 9 days after his Mother. In February 1890 I moved out to Howell County where Father was, but returned to Bollinger County and from here went down into Stoddard County and worked for the Huffman Stave Company until the 1st of August. I came back to Bollinger County August 24, 1890; went to a picnic at Zalma, Missouri and here became acquainted with Belle Virgin and passed the day off with her companionship. This day began our courtship that lasted till September 30, 1890 and we became husband and wife. To this union was born 9 children.