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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