Owen County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #831 commemorates Owen County for being named after a casualty of the Battle of Tippecanoe, a fight that some consider to be the unofficial beginning of the War of 1812.

Born in Virginia in 1769, Colonel Abraham Owen moved to Kentucky in 1785. He lived in present-day Shelby County and fought in several campaigns against Native Americans in 1790 and 1791. While fighting in Indiana, he was wounded twice.

In addition to being a soldier, Owen had a successful political career. He was elected to the Kentucky legislature in 1799, and also served as a member of one of Kentucky's constitutional conventions. According to the historical marker, he was the first Kentuckian to join the command of General William Henry Harrison for the late 1811 campaigns against Native Americans in the upper Wabash Valley. The apex of this campaign was the Battle of Tippecanoe, fought in present-day Indiana, on November 7, 1811. There, Owen was killed.

When Owen County was formed in 1819, it was named in his honor. The city of Owensboro in Daviess County is also named for him.

Images

A view up the Kentucky River near Gratz, Kentucky, Owen County

A view up the Kentucky River near Gratz, Kentucky, Owen County

A view up the Kentucky River near Gratz, Kentucky. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Bryant's Showboat and the Valley Belle sternwheeler at the Gratz, Kentucky, wharf

Bryant's Showboat and the Valley Belle sternwheeler at the Gratz, Kentucky, wharf

A 1920 image of the Bryant's Showboat and the Valley Belle sternwheeler at the Gratz, Kentucky, wharf on the Kentucky River. This is in Owen County, which is named for a War of 1812 veteran. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Owen County, Kentucky,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/84.

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