Named after Abraham Owen, a colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe, Owen County was formed in 1819. Comprising 387 square miles, there were approximately 800 people who lived in the county in 1820, but in the next ten years the population quintupled to about 4,000. Currently around 20,000 people live in Owen County. The White River passes through the eastern part of the county.

The earliest evidence of occupation in Owen County is found in burial mounds throughout the county that were created by Native Americans. The Native Americans, who were of the Miami, Potawatami, Eel River, and Delaware tribes, planted corn on the rich bottomland and hunted wild game, which was abundant on the rolling, wooded uplands.

In 1809, when pioneers came to this area, the natives ceded to them most of the area that is now Owen County. The treaty that transferred this land was called the Treaty of Fort Wayne. The boundary established by this treaty, known as the Ten O’Clock Line, runs diagonally across the northeastern part of the county.

An act passed by the Indiana State Legislature on December 21, 1818, to become effective January 1, 1819, established Owen County. The first towns established were Spencer, Freedom, and Gosport. All of these towns were established on the White River, which was used for travel by flatboat and steamboat.

Owen County Courthouse by Calvin Beale [Public domain]
, via Wikimedia Commons

The Owen County INGenWeb Project was originally established for the goal of sharing genealogical and historical information to benefit all who have ancestors that live or have passed through this county. If you have any material that relates to the genealogy and history of Owen County, Indiana consider submitting for use on this web site. Your help will be much appreciated by me and fellow Owen County researchers.

My name is Ben Fulton and I am the InGenWeb Coordinator for Owen County.

Research Services

Please contact me if you have research questions concerning Owen County, and I will find an answer to the best of my ability. I work full time in Monroe County but I can make the trip to Owen if necessary.

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INGenWeb's History

In March or April of 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Indiana Comprehensive Genealogy Database. The idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties in Indiana, where collected databases would be stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so that even if an individual were found in more than one county, they would be located in the index. At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page. If you are interested in becoming the county coordinator for an Indiana county, contact the INGenWeb State Coordinator by clicking on her name at the left.