Thomas Hennington Owen originally began construction on the Owen Plantation House in 1833 when he built the two rooms that now make up the back wing. He and his bride, Malissa Rose Sadler, moved into the quaint structure that year. Later in 1838 the rest of the house was added making it a substantial two-story dog-trot style house. The home is built of hand-hewn logs and ‘pit-sawed’ lumber from the 1,000 plus acres that made up the Owen Plantation in its heyday.
According to family tradition, the house was not painted white until the first year of the Civil War when a northerner was paid to paint it before leaving directly for the north in order to join the Union Army.
In 1865, Union General James Wilson and his troops raided the plantation, stealing its silver and animals, and burning the Owen’s grain buildings. However, the wartime effects on the Owen family itself were far more tragic. Of the four children of Thomas and Malissa:
Thomas Lucien Moreland Owen died as a result of “the fever” while in service as a captain in the Medical Corps of the Confederate Army. He was a graduate of the University of Alabama and had practiced medicine.
Allious Turner Owen also died of “the fever” while in service with the Medical Corps. He had also studied at the University of Alabama and was training to be a doctor.
Nancy Eliza Owen attended Centenary Institute, a Methodist School in Summerfield, Alabama. She died there at the young age of sixteen, only two weeks before she was to graduate.
Isaac Wellington Rose Owen, later known as Rose Wellington Owen, was too young to serve in the Confederate Army at the beginning of the war. At the age of fifteen however, he entered the University of Alabama and served in the Cadet Corps.
By the close of the war, Thomas and Malissa had lost three of their four children and three of their four grandchildren. According family legend, they were left with only their home, their land, one three dollar gold piece, and perseverance.
The Owen Plantation House was donated to the West Jefferson County Historical Society in the 1970’s by Telulah Rose Love and Jim Love, Owen family descendants.
Under the leadership of Owen descendant Connie Haynesworth Grund, our Executive Board Chairman, the family still takes an active role in maintaining the house and property.
Owen House - Historic Site Marker