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From: "david Owings" <>
Subject: [OWEN] Col. Samuel Coombs Owens 1800-1847
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2011 14:09:37 -0600

Margaret, you might be correct about Samuel being a Catholic - how did you suspect? The story of the Yates family relates that they are Maryland Catholics. This information states that Samuel's sister Mary was an object of Abraham Lincoln's affections. Samuel married Fanny Young - this well maybe Harry Truman's family.

There is a picture of Nathaniel Owens home in Green County, KY on-line.

Interested if anyone has links to this Virginia Owen family.


Samuel Coombs Owens - son of Green County, Kentucky Sheriff Nathaniel Owens (6/17/1764-6/1/1844) and Nancy Grayham (1770-1814). Nathaniel is son of Nathaniel Owens born King George County, Virginia, died Fauquier County, Virginia.

SAMUEL2 OWENS (NATHANIEL1) was born Abt. 1755 in Virginia, and died Abt. 1801 in King George Co. Virginia. He married (1) ELIZABETH KING. He married (2) VASHTY OWENS.

SHERIFF NATHANIEL OWENS (NATHANIEL1) was born 1766 in Virginia, and died 1844 in Green Co. Kentucky. He married (1) NANCY GRAYHAM8<http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/a/r/Jill-Markwood/GENE7-0017.html#ENDNOTE8>; December 8, 1795 in Green Co. Kentucky, daughter of WILLIAM GRAYHAM. She was born Abt. 1770. He married (2) MARY ANN YATES April 3, 1815. She was born Abt. 1784 in Kentucky or Maryland.

The Yates family tradition has it that they are related to Mary Owens, onetime sweetheart of Abraham Lincoln. The father of Mary Owens is known to be Nathaniel Owens ref who was the second husband of Anna Yates, a daughter of John Yates (and sister of Margaret Yates). Nathaniel Owens married Nancy Grayham, the daughter of William Grayham in Green County, Kentucky on 8 December 1795. He married Anna Yates in 1815. Anna's first marriage was to William Spaulding.

Mary Owens


"Nothing would make me more miserable than to believe you miserable - nothing more happy, than to know you were so." - Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's second love, Mary Owens, was born to a prosperous planter, Nathaniel Owens, on his Little Brush Creek plantation in Green County, Kentucky, on September 29, 1808. Mary and Abraham met for the first time in 1833, while she was visiting her sister Betsey Abell in New Salem, Illinois, thus commencing their relationship. After Mary returned home to Kentucky, Lincoln was quoted as stating that he "would marry Miss Owens if she came a second time to Illinois." When Mary returned to New Salem in the fall of 1836, however, Lincoln failed to follow up on this promise and in the last of a series of three letters he stated, "I want in all cases to do right; and most particularly so, in all cases with women. I want, at this particular time, more than any thing else, to do right with you, and if I knew it would be doing right, as I rather suspect it would, to let you alone, I would do it." Lincoln concluded, "If it suits you best to not answer this farewell - a long life and a merry one attend you."

Following this letter, the communication ceased between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Owens.

Letter from Lincoln to Mary Owens, August 16, 1837

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division

This federal style brick house was built about 1800 near Little Brush Creek by Nathaniel Owens. He was one of Green County's most well-to-do land owners. Nathaniel's daughter, Mary Owens, courted Abraham Lincoln while visiting her sister in Illinois, but she refused his proposal of marriage. Mary married a Mr. Vineyard and they made their home in Missouri.

After Nathaniel Owens' death the farm passed to his son John Y. Owens. John Y. Owens and wife Ellen sold the old house and 450 acres embracing it to Richard and Jensey Martin Skaggs of Taylor County in 1851.

Samuel Combs Owens 1800-1847

Samuel Owens purchased Lot 39 on August 5, 1833 for $75 from Leonard Dodge, who had owned the lot for less than two years; Dodge had purchased the property for $71.72.' The rear section (northeast) of the current house was built for Owens c. 1840. Samuel Combs Owens was born in Kentucky in 1800. Owens, from a wealthy family in Green County, Kentucky, emigrated to Missouri in about 1818 and was prominent among the early settlers, becoming one of the founders of the town of Independence. Independence, laid out in 1827, had become the western terminus for both the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails by 1831. Owens served as store manager for James Aull from 1827 to 1836 when he formed a business of his own, which reportedly existed until 1844. His store was located on the southwest corner of the Square. Colonel Owens, as he was popularly known, was the first clerk of Jackson County, Missouri; he also served as clerk of the county court, recorder of deeds, and state representative. He became one of the principal wholesalers connected with the Mexican trade, operating large caravans along the Santa Fe Trail. Owens purchased many of his goods in Philadelphia, transporting them via the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers from Pittsburgh. Owens is perhaps best known for his military involvement at the Battle of Sacramento. In the Spring of 1846, Owens formed a partnership with James Aull, and took a train to Santa Fe and Chihuahua behind the American Army. Josiah Gregg started from Independence on this train with Samuel Owens, but had to quit to enlist in General Wool's army. 10 During the Mexican War, Owens, as other traders on the Santa Fe Trail, was under the orders of General Keamy to accompany Colonel Doniphan's command; this was done to ensure the trader's goods would supply Kearny's military campaign, rather than being confiscated by the Mexican Army." Shortly before the Battle of Sacramento, Colonel Doniphan persuaded the traders and most of their teamsters to join military service, which formed an extra battalion of one hundred and fifty men under the command of Owens as their Major; Edward Glasgow was elected Captain of Company A and Henry Skillman was elected captain of Company B. While these troops took part in the Battle of Sacramento, Colonel Doniphan, according to the United State government, had no legal authority to create new companies of troops; the government never paid these men and never allowed them pensions.

A charge upon twenty-eight Mexican redoubts (a small fortification without flanking defenses) was made by four of these companies on February 28, 1847, during the Battle of Sacramento. The charge of these companies was not made simultaneously, and confusion of orders put the companies in a dangerous position. Reportedly, Captain Reid of one of the companies, dashed ahead accompanied by only a few men, including Major Owens, who joined them voluntarily. Upon nearing the Mexican companies, Captain Reid and the others turned and ran along the Mexican front past several redoubts, drawing the fire of the entire Mexican line; the Mexicans had to reload their flintlock guns and this delay permitted the whole American line to get over the redoubts and rout the Mexican Army. Instead of turning with the others who escaped unhurt, Major Owens charged single handedly upon the Mexican redoubt, and both he and his horse were killed. Major Owens' effort, seen as a spectacular effort of bravery, was noted in a letter from Colonel Doniphan to a mutual friend: He lost his life by excessive bravery, or rather rashness. He rode up to the redoubt, filled with armed men, and continued to fire his pistols into it until himself and horse fell, pierced with balls, upon its very brink.

References note that Major Owens had "recently suffered a very sad domestic tragedy, and there were many who thought he welcomed death;" however, the domestic tragedy is not specified. One account notes that Owens went into battle dressed in white and mounted upon a white horse, to be an easy target. One of his men reportedly claimed that Owens shaved and dressed himself with care because "he did not know what might happen and knew of no more honorable or desirable end than to die in battle. " After the troops arrived in Chihuahua, Major Owens, who was Catholic, was buried with much ceremony; services were conducted by Mexican priests and the body was interred with both Masonic and military honors. Aull, too, met an untimely death about this time. Aull remained in Chihuahua after the military occupation ended, and was killed in a robbery of his store there in 1847. Mrs. Owens (Fanny Young) was a sister of Eliza Ann Reynolds, wife of Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri. Mrs. Owens moved to Platte County, Missouri after her husband's death,; she died on May 31, 1848. In her diary, Susan Shelby Magoffin notes visiting Mrs. Owens after her one night stay in Independence at Mr. Noland's Hotel. Magoffin mentions Major Owens several times, including when she learned of his death; she details his fatal injuries. Although Samuel Owens died in 1847, and Fanny Owens died in 1848, their estate was not settled until 1851. They owned thousands of acres of land throughout Jackson County and at the time of Samuel Owens' death, the Probate Court of Jackson County estimated the value of his estate at $70,000.

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