Lucinda Owens Memorial - Washington, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 33.628 W 091° 00.649
15S E 673315 N 4269878
The women given credit for founding this city.
Waymark Code: WM10J7J
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 05/14/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 2

County of marker: Franklin County
Location of marker: E. Front St. & Lafayette St., Washington
Marker Erected By: Washington Historical Society
Date Marker Erected: 2008

Marker Text:

Kentucky natives William G. and Lucinda Owens came to Missouri in 1818. William soon became the leading politician of newly created Franklin County. In 1827 he purchased a farm and ferry boat at Washington Landing. On July 4, 1829, he began to sell lots for a planned town site. The death of William Owens in 1834 delayed the planned development. Five years later, on May 29, 1839, his widow filed an official plat of the town with Franklin County officials, thus giving Lucinda Owens recognition as the official founder of Washington.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"A town on the Missouri River, now coextensive with Washington Township (q.v.), a municipal township which is located on the northern border of St. John's Township. It has had a long history and has enjoyed a remarkable variety of names. The earliest recorded settlement was made here by John Long, a Revolutionary War veteran, who claimed 5,000 arpents along Du Bois Creek, on a concession from the famous French explorer and traveler Jean Baptiste Trudeau. This must have been shortly after the American occupation. Long also claimed large tracts of land along St. John's Creek, a small part of which is now included in the city of Washington. As early as 1822 there was a boat landing on the site which came to be known as Washington Landing. John Caldwell was licensed to keep a ferry here on August 22, 1822. A small trade was carried on at the ferry landing, out of which grew a small hamlet, including a store and several dwellings. Settlement is said to have begun as early as 1815. John Caldwell may have been responsible for naming the place for George Washington (1732-1799), but the name of the father of the country was especially popular at the time and was being adopted as a place name in every state in the Union. Here it was destined eventually to carry the day over a number of rivals. Meanwhile a man arrived in the neighborhood who is spoken of by contemporaries as "the founder of Washington."

William G. Owens, a Kentuckian, was born on November 5, 1796. He was educated to be a lawyer. In 1815 he married Lucinda Young, and in 1818 came to Franklin County, settling first at New Port, now Dundee. He was the first clerk of the county after it was organized in 1818. He owned the property on which the future town was to be located, and before his death there is evidence that he had begun to plan and plot the townsite. His plans, however, were abruptly cut short when he was shot in a duel on November 16, 1834. Nearly at the same time a neighboring community was rising just a short distance east of Washington Landing, settled largely by Polish immigrants, which chose for itself the name of Bassora. It was plotted on October 5, 1836, and a post office under the name of Bassora was established there on November 1, 1837. The origin of the name is uncertain. It hardly seems possible that it was borrowed from the ancient Turkish city of Bassora, now Basra, the chief seaport of modern Iraq on the Persian Gulf. Mr. Kiel suggests that it was coined from the name Bass, a member of a real estate firm at Union, by addition of the suffix -ora. This method of coining names does occur, by the process known as "clipping;" e.g. Laddonia from Ladd by adding -onia, clipped from such names as Caldonia or Livonia, or Peytonia, Columbia, Centralia, formed with the very common suffix-ia, as in Virginia; so Bassora might have been modeled on such names as Angora or Pechora. The difficulty is to authenticate Mr. Bass; if the place was named for him, it is strange that he is not included among the men who laid out the town, listed as George Morton, William Walker, Andrew King and Baldwin King. On the whole, however, Mr. Kiel's explanation is preferable to supposing that the name was a Turkish borrowing. The village of Bassora was not destined to a long life as a separate community. The post office was discontinued on April 4, 1840, evidently having been absorbed by the adjoining town of Washington. The name is still used, however, for the eastern section of Washington. The nickname of Goosetown for that section was inspired by the large number of geese raised by the Polanders. On April 3, 1837, the post office of Washington was established, and since 1840 has superseded all other names. The town was laid off, on the property of Mrs. Lucinda Owens, in 1839, and incorporated in 1841. It was obviously shortened from Washington Landing, the older name of the settlement, which neither William nor Lucinda Owens apparently wished to change.

Additional point: Not Listed

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