William A. Owens

William A. Owens is best know for the book "The Stubborn Soil."  The book is an autobiography of William A. Owens, born 1905 at Pin Hook, Lamar County, Texas. It is published by Lyons & Burford, Publishers, 31 West 21 Street, New York, NY 10010. It is available for purchase through http://www.amazon.com for $19.95 + shipping. Articles on the works of the former Lamar County resident can be found in the Texas A&M site at

The book records the struggle of Owens' life near Pin Hook, along the Red River in rural East Texas during the early 1900's. It is a genealogically valuable source of historical value describing life in Lamar County in that era.

Charles Owens, the author's father, was related to the Witherspoons, Duvalls, and McLemores, the first land holders in the Lamar County area.  Owens' mother, Jessie Ann Chennault, married his 19 year old father when she was 14. He had three brothers, Monroe, Dewey, Owens, Charles and a sister, Linnie.

The book is not indexed, unfortunately, but among the names Lamar County genealogists may find of interest in the book are:
* Alice Chennault
* Amos Sutton
* Bessie Haigood
* DeRhon Stuart
* Dr. Bishop
* Dr. Reeves
* Eather Owens
* Edgar Latimer
* Elizabeth Penelope "Aunt Nellie" Haigood
* Ellen Victoria "Aunt Vick" (Chennault)Grizzell
* Elmer Rhodes
* George and Mary Belle "Mollie" (Hefner) Haley, husband and wife school teachers
* Henry Ragsdale, RFD mail carrier
* Jack Chennault
* Jesse James, the famous outlaw, a cousin
* Jesse, Eva Lois, Dahlia and Oma Swindle
* John Haley
* John Rhodes, of Deport
* Julie Chennault
* Lank Smith
* Lewis Duvall
* Mae Farmer
* Maggie Tippitt
* Malinda Duvall
* Mamie Rhodes
* Miss Monty Hutchens, Blossom school teacher
* Missouri Ann Cleaver, grandmother of Jessie Ann Chennault, who, after the Civil War, walked from Camden, Arkansas to Blossom Prairie, Texas
* Mr. Jessee and Mrs. Jessee, school teachers
* Myrtle Haigood
* Ollie and Collie Rhodes, twins, and sons of John Rhodes
* Oscar Rhodes, child of John Rhodes
* Othal Johnson, hired hand of Charlie Kitchens
* Pat Swindle
* Roy Rhodes, child of John and Jessie Ann (Chennault Owens) Rhodes
* Sally Holmes, Uncle Charlie's sister
* Samantha "Manth" Green
* Thurman Swindle
* Uncle Charlie and Aunt Niece Kitchens of Novice
* Wade Chennault, son of Vick Chennault
* Wade Grizzell, son of Ellen Victoria Chennault
* Catharine Witherspoon
* Wiley Witherspoon
* William "Willie" Hathaway, his cousin
* William Duvall, his great grandfather
* Willie Haigood

A number of geographical locations are included in the book, such as:
Big Pine Creek
Blossom, Texas
Camden, Arkansas
Commerce, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Deport, Texas
Drumwright, Oklahoma
Enloe, Texas
Faught, Texas
Lamar County, Texas
Linden school
Little Pine Creek
Nolan Creek
Novice, Texas
Paris, Texas
Pin Hook school, a one-room school
Pin Hook, Texas
Pine Bluff, Texas
Post Oak, Texas
Purcell, Oklahoma
Red River
Shockley's Prairie
Slate Shoals of the Red River
Spring Hill school
Walnut Ridge school
Womack Store

I have no personal connection to Mr. Owens, the book or even Lamar County.  I simply found the book outstanding in its description of life during those years because of similarity to my own recollections of life in Oklahoma during my own childhood.

This article prepared by Jack Wood  -- Jack_Wood@email.msn.com

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