Obit: Owen, Aloney Rust (1874 - 1951)

Contact:  Janet Rogalski

----Source: The Stark Family Scrapbook.


Aloney Rust Owen, scion of the Owen family of Wisconsin, is dead. Funeral services were held for him Monday at St. Katerine's Mission in Owen. Officiating were Dr. Kenneth Crosby, rector, and the Rev. Ronald Ortmayer, former rector. Internment was in Riverside Cemetery. Pallbearers were David Owem, Ralph Owen, Jr., William Catura, Jr., Jack Olds, Ben Burchert and Walter Cattanach.

Mr. Owen died Friday in a hospital at Eau Claire at the age of 78.

Throughout his active life A. R. Owen followed the lumber business, like his father before him. Born in East Saginaw, Mich., his first brath was taken in an atmosphere of trees and of lumbering. His father, John S. Owen, had lumbered in the pine forests of Michigan, and was attracted to the relatively virgin forests of Central Wisconsin in 1874, when the son, A. R. Owen, was one year old.

The John S. Owen Family at first settled in Eau Claire, and its early activities were conducted from that cityas headquarters. There, A. R. Owen, the son, attended public schools until he was ready to enter the Shattuck school at Fairbault, Minn. After completing his work there he went to Cornell University, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity.

Early Activities

During A. R. Owen's schooling John S. Owen had been developing his lumber interests. He had by 1893 purchased 30,000 acres in northern Clark County and in the area adjacent thereto. He had moved his headquarters to Owen, the city which came to bear the family name, had organized the John S. Owen Lumber Co., and had begun to develop a far-reaching plan for that area. That plan consisted in orderly annual cutting, in then turning the land to agriculture by attracting settlers and in building the community at Owen, where the large Owen mill was located.

The father, John S. Owen, lived to see his program far on the way. Dying in 1939, he had outlived the larger forest tracts not yet developed for agriculture. That liquidation was not fully completed at A. R. Owen's death.

Throughout the lives of John S. Owen and A. R. Owen, father and son, first call upon the lumber produced by them went to the men and women who were building up Clark County. All over the county buildings stand today which originated in the 30,000 acres first bought by John S. Owen and cut up in the Owen Mill at Owen.

Retail Development

As time passed, and as the Owen forests became exhausted, the family turned its attention to securing and supplying lumber to meet the needs of a large portion of Central Wisconsin. It was this enterprise which fell largely upon the shoulders of A. R. Owen, and to the development of which he gave his major attention. Incident to that purpose he became president of the Three States Lumber Co., of Blytheville, Ark., and chairman of the board of the O & N Lumber Co., the Large retailing organization, with nine outlets in Clark County, with head offices in Menomonie and with branches elsewhere in the adjacent area.

Aloney R. Owen was an officer and director of various outside corporations, and was a member of the University club and the Milwaukee club at Milwaukee and of the Chicago club in Chicago. Throughout his life, however, he was true to the family policy of sustaining and promoting the interests of the city of Owen. Among his chief interests was St. Katherine's Episcopal Mission, which he helped to found.

Aloney R. Owen & Family

During his active life Mr. Owen was known locally as A. R. Owen. His full given names were not commonly used. It is of interest to know, however, that the name Rust derives from the family of his mother, whose maiden name was Cora Rust.

Married in 1898 to Florence Elizabeth Benson of Lake City, Minn., A. R. Owen set up his family home at Owen and maintained it there until the end. During the last two years he has been largely alone in the old Owen home, Mrs. Owen having died January 3, 1949.

Following the death of A. R. Owen, the Owen activities in this area will be carried on through the family of Ralph W. Owen of Eau Claire, a brother of A. R. Owen. In this family there are two sons and two daughters. Both of the sons are active in the O & N Lumber Co., Ralph being Vice President and genral manager of that enterprise and David being manager of the O & N yard in Eau Claire.

The two children of A. R. Owen have taken root elsewhere. The son, John S., is first vice-president of the First Wisconsin National bank in Milwaukee. He has three sons. The daughter, Mrs. Thomas Sargent, resides in West Hartford, Conn. She is

the mother of two sons.



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