William A. Owens 2nd WI Inf. Co I – Iron Brigade – Dodgeville
Public service seems to have been a large part of the adult life of William A. Owens, who after serving throughout the Civil War, served many years as Sheriff of Iowa County. Born in New York State to Welsh parents, Ellis Owens and Jane (Price) Owens, they all came and settled at Dodgeville about 1850. By 1861 at age 19, he selflessly answered the call of duty as a soldier in the Civil War. In his obituary, we read that he was severely wounded at Bull Run in July 1861; was confined at the infamous Libby prison for 6 months; returned to the Iron Brigade for the rest of the war serving in battles at Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.
Another newspaper article states that he was one of 600 Wisconsin Veterans attending a Reunion at Dodgeville on June 17 & 18, 1885, noting that he was Iowa County Sheriff. On December 24, 1884, he married Mary Jane Roberts and they became parents to one daughter, Sarah, who subsequently married Lewis Elmer Jones and gave them two grandchildren, Eleanor Owens Jones and William Owens Jones. A January 21, 1887 item in the Dodgeville Chronicle, “ Wm. A. Owens, ex-sheriff has been suffering quite severely for the past week from the effects of gunshot wounds received while in the army. The chief cause of his present suffering is the presence of a musket ball in or very near the lungs.” His long suffering ended at his daughter’s home in Madison on Feb 19, 1920 and he is buried at Eastside Cemetery in Dodgeville.