HON. J.J. OWEN-Publisher, San Jose Mercury

Was born in Onondaga county, New York, July 22, 1827. He was the second son
of a family of seven sons and two daughters. His father, who was a farmer,
dying when he was 12 years old, he shortly thereafter left the paternal
roof-tree, and struck out to make his way in the world. He served an
apprenticeship at the printer's trade in Auburn, New York, graduating as a
journeyman printer at the age of eighteen, in the meantime devoting his
unemployed time to a thorough course of study. He was married at the age of
twenty-one to his present companion, by whom he has raised six children,
two sons and four daughters. He continued to work at his trade until the
Spring of 1850, when, catching the California fever, he sailed from New
York to Panama, where he remained for two months, being unable to procure
passage to San Francisco. He was a participant in what was known as the
Panama war, which occurred that Spring, in which a number of Americans lost
their lives. Returning to New York, he followed the business of farming and
school teaching until the Fall of 1851, when he came to California, and
obtained employment as messenger on the Sacramento river, for Gregory's
Express. He continued with Gregory until the failure of that house, the
business of which was mostly transferred to the new express company of
Wells, Fargo & Co. Mr. Owen continued as messenger for the new company
until the Summer of 1832 (as printed), when becoming anxious to see his
family, he returned to his home in Cayuga county, going in charge of the
Alaska furs. He remained at home for about eight years, pursuing the
business of farming, and a part of the time of school teaching. He was
elected Superintendent of School for three years, and subsequently, in
1857, as representative in the New York Assembly. He was appointed in that
body Chairman of Military Affairs, which committee had the disposal of the
New York Arsenal property to the city of New York to prepare the way for
the great Central Park. He was also of the sub-committee of the whole. In
the Spring of 1861 he returned to San Jose; and at once assumed the
publication of the San Jose Mercury, in which business he has been engaged
ever since. Two years and a half after his arrival he brought out his
family and made his permanent home in San Jose. In 1862 he was elected to
the California Assembly, and again in 1863. He was elected Speaker pro tem
of the legislature of '63-64. Mr. Owen has been through life an active
Republican, for which party he has worked with much zeal and ability, while
his editorial management of the Mercury has been such as to gain for that
periodical a high position among its contemporaries in the country.

The Pioneer, published San Jose, California, Saturday, February 11, 1882
transcribed by jchavnar