Santa Clara County

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Charles P. Owen, Recorder and Auditor of Santa Clara County, was born in Port Byron, New York, in 1858.  His father, J. J. Owen, was a native of Cayuga County, New York, and an eminent agriculturist of that State, having twice represented his district in the State Legislature.  In 1851 he came out to California, and for two years was messenger for the Gregory Express Company, on the Sacramento River.  In 1853 he returned to New York State, where he stayed until the fall of 1861, when he once more came to California, bringing out his family in the following year.  He at once established the San Jose Mercury, and conducted it continuously until three years ago, when he sold out to Mr. C. M. Shortridge, the present proprietor.  He is now conducting the Golden Gate newspaper in San Francisco.  He represented Santa Clara County in the State Legislature during the session of 1862 and 1863, holding the responsible office of Speaker during one term, and being always an active and consistent Republican.  From   the time of making San Jose his home he took an active part in all public works of general benefit, interesting himself especially in the lighting of the city by electricity.  He was President and founder of the Electric Light Works in San Jose, and erected the splendid electric tower that spans the intersection of Market and Santa Clara Streets.  On the formation of the company into a stock association this was purchased jointly by them and the city.  He is still a stockholder in the company.

            Mr. Owen’s mother was Kate Paddack, a native of New York State.  She died in San Jose, in 1884.  There are four daughters and two sons, the result of this union.  Of these, Clifford, the eldest, is now and has been for twenty years connected with the San Jose Mercury.

            Mr. C. P. Owen was the fourth child.  He attended the public schools of San Jose, graduating in 1877.  He went at once into the Mercury office as cashier and collector, a position he held until December, 1881.  Occasionally he worked at the case, becoming an expert compositor, and also doing some editorial work.  In January, 1882, he accepted a position in the State printing office at Sacramento, under Governor Perkins, remaining until September, 1883.  He then returned to San Jose and took up his former position, which he retained until January, 1885.  At that time he became Deputy County Clerk and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, filling this post until January 1, 1887, when he was elected by a large majority to the office of County Recorder and Auditor, a position which he holds with the greatest satisfaction to the people, as he has shown himself a painstaking and efficient officer.

            In 1881 he married Miss Mary Conmy, a native of Trinity County, California, her parents having come to this State in the early days of its settlement, locating in Shasta County, and removing thence to San Jose in 1868.  During the first three years of his residence here Mr. Conmy was a partner of Mr. Owen, and later opened the job-printing business, which he still carries on.  Mr. and Mrs. Owen have four children. They are:  Charles H., born in December, 1882; Katie, born in July, 1884; Alfred, born October, 1885; and Francis, born November, 1887.

            Mr. Owen is Commander of the American Legion of Honor, an officer of Enterprise Lodge, No. 17, A. O. U. W., and a member of the San Jose Turnverein, in all of which orders he is in good and honorable standing.  Mr. Owen is a Republican in politics, believing fully in the protection of American industries.  He is opposed to the further importation of the Chinese element, seeing clearly its evils, and desiring the best development of American citizenship.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 376-377
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight