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Owen Historical Society News: Owen countians have always answered the call

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By Bonnie Strassell

It stands in Owenton Cemetery, and like many such war monuments that dot the American landscape, it is a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have served our country in war.
The poignant words on the back of the memorial point to the sometimes terrible price we pay for our freedoms. “How sweet to rest when life is done. With battles fought and victory won.”
From the American Revolution to the war in Iraq patriots have marched to war and keeping in step were the men and women of Owen County. The Revolutionary War saw Owen County names such Richard Bennet, James Ball, Henry Sparks, Benjamin Hardin, Jacob Hunter, Lewis Vallandingham, and so many others.
In the War of 1812, among the almost 200 men who eventually lived in what is now Owen County, we find  Edmund Agee, the Ayres brothers, James Bassett, Noah Clifton, Ninian Riley, Hardins, Cobbs, Forsees and the list goes on.
Owen countians served in the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Wherever freedom was threatened, Owen countians stood, served and sacrificed.
Veterans Day is a time to remember all those who have lost their lives in war and celebrate with those who have returned. Take the time to thank our Owen County veterans who fought for the principles of our American republic.
Thanksgiving is another tradition that brings Owen County families together and presents a special opportunity to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for his blessings upon our nation. As family members become more distant and life more hectic, it is refreshing to gather for an old fashioned turkey dinner. Author Edgar Guest (1881-1959) reminisced about the old-fashioned Thanksgiving.
“It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago.”

The Owen County Historical Society will be celebrating an old-fashioned Thanksgiving Thursday evening at the I.O.O.F. Hall at 6:30 p.m. Members and their families are invited to enjoy turkey, gravy, dressing, and rolls provided by the historical society. Everyone is asked to bring a covered dish. Our special guest will be Bro. Greg Guy, pastor of First Christian Church. On this traditional  holiday of our country, Bro. Greg will be telling stories of his bike trip across America. Join us in our celebration of freedom and faith.
Our thanks to David Hawkins, son of O.D. and Bessie Hawkins, who donated many of his parents’ artifacts to the historical society. We will be using these in the museum. We are grateful to everyone else who has been so kind to place their Owen County historic treasures in the care of the historical society. We are pleased to preserve these vital memories of history.
On a more solemn note, we regret to announce the resignation of our president Jeannie Baker. Due to health and personal reasons, Jeannie has decided to step down from her office as president. She has been at the helm for seven years and there is no denying the museum would not be the showcase of Owen County history today were it not for the dedication and determination of Jeannie Baker.
Thanks to her so much of Owen County history has been preserved for future generations. Jeannie has faithfully served the people of Owen County and she deserves our utmost gratitude.
Darrel Baker has also resigned from the board. His many long hours of hard work, not only at the museum but also at fund-raising functions, has left us indebted to him for his kindness. Jeannie and Darrel have both been a driving force for the historical society.
I do, however, want to assure the people of Owen County that there remains many dedicated members of the Owen County Historical Society, both on the board and those of the general membership. We will continue our vision and commitment to Owen County, its people, its traditions and its rich history.