The Owen Family Letters


The Owen Family Letters - Keith Richards Thackrey and Maureen Thackrey Lischke. This book offers a unique look at a typical Illinois farm family across seventy years, through letters of friends and family. The Owen family letters will provide insight into the lives and events of a farming family in Illinois in the 1800s. Between 1840 and 1906, Jason and Abigail Owen and their daughter, Bertha Owen Bice, received eighty-eight letters from family and friends, which they saved. More than half of those letters were from Clarence and Mary Owen, Bertha’s brother and sister. Clarence was a soldier who enlisted in the 38th Infantry Regiment, Illinois, at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. He was seventeen years old and wrote home often. Mary (also known as Mate) was a school teacher who left home at the age of twenty to teach about 200 miles away from her parents. In addition to the normal family activities, the authors of the letters refer to such events as the election of a “neighbor” to the White House, meeting “Crazy” Bill Sherman before the siege of Atlanta, and that “fire in Chicago.” The book contains period maps, pertinent family trees, photographs of people, a cemetery containing family gravesites, and the letters themselves. It also contains two original civil war poems. The book cross-references events chronicled in the memoirs of the regimental commander Clarence Owen, one of the primary letter authors. An index to full-names, places and subjects completes this work. The authors are the great grandchildren of Bertha Owen.

2012, 5½x8½, paper, index, 178 pp.

ISBN: 9780788453922