Sweet Owen

(Sweet) Owen County, Indiana

It's hard to pin down the origin of the expression "Sweet Owen", but the following is the most accepted version. Dan Voorhess of Terre Haute was running for Congress many years ago when election returns trickled in over a period of several days. Returns from all the counties in the district except Owen County were in. Voorhees was a few votes behind his opponent. "Wait for the Owen County vote," he told his friends, "they'll put me in." Owen County's vote finally did come in. He had carried the county by enough votes to give him the victory. At that point he is quoted as having declared:

"That's my Sweet Owen!"

More Owen County History Local Schools
Higher Education Community

"Spirit of the American Doughboy"

The "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue was created
by the late E.M. Viquesney, of Spencer. The one on the courthouse
square (placed in 1926) is one of many seen in parks and on
courthouse and public squares from the state of Washington to Florida.
The latest count showed that more than 50 are known to exist,
but the actual number is unknown.





Hall of Fame

Spencer was the girlhood home of Nellie Belles who was later to become the mother of Harold MacMillan, one-time Prime Minister of Great Britain. He has made two "sentimental journeys" to Spencer.

Another Spencer native was Lieutenant Colonel Horace Hickam, an aviation pioneer for whom Hickam Field, Hawaii, was named.

Ban Johnson, one of the founders of the American Baseball League, lived here and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.

William Vaughn Moody, poet-playwright, who wrote a "History of English Literature," and then went on to write the prose play "The Great Divide" was also a one-time Spencerite.

A "once-in-all-history" story of the U.S. Navy involved two Owen Countians. On August 22, 1943, Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix of Spencer turned over command of the Aircraft Carrier USS Saratoga to Admiral John H. Cassady, also of Spencer. The Navy reports that this appears to be the only time in naval history when an officer turned over command of a capital ship to another officer from the same small town.

Margaret Weymouth Jackson who wrote fiction and articles for virtually all the top national magazines (Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentleman, Saturday Evening Post, etc.) did much of her writing while living in Spencer. Some of her stories are still used in school textbooks. She authored more than 50 stories and articles for "The Saturday Evening Post" alone.

H.B Laymon, in the depression years, began buying aspirin tablets in bulk, putting them in coin envelopes which he stapled onto cardboard sheets to be set on counters in stores, service stations, restaurants. Thus began what later became the biggest distributor of what was known as "counter carded merchandise" in the world. The business is no longer in operation. Laymon's two most famous products were Laymon's Aspirin and Twenty Grand razor blades. The firm was Laymon's World's Products Company, which at its peak had dealers even in several foreign countries.

Spencer Owen Community Schools

Visit our school system's website at: www.socs.k12.in.us

The Owen County system of public schools consists of: K through 12 grades with elementary schools in Spencer (county seat), Gosport, and Patricksburg. A junior high school and high school, both in Spencer, serve the entire system.

Central Office: 829-2233
Gosport Elementary: 879-4694
Patricksburg Elementary: 859-4525
McCormick's Creek Elementary: 828-6000
Spencer Elementary: 829-2253
Owen Valley Middle School: 829-2249
Owen Valley High School: 829-2266

School Closing Information

The decision to close school will be made by 6:30 a.m. Radio and television stations reporting inclement weather conditions are listed below:

WTHI TV 10 Terre Haute
WTWO TV 2 Terre Haute
WISH TV 8 Indianapolis

92.3 FM WTTS Bloomington
93 FM WSKT Spencer
102.3 FM WCBK Martinsville
103.7 FM Bloomington
1370 AM WGTC Bloomington
1540 AM WCBK Martinsville

 Higher Education

Many institutions of higher learning are within an hour and a half of Spencer, most of them within an hour. They include Indiana University, Indiana State University, DePauw University, Butler University, Rose-Hulman Technical Institute (engineering), Wabash College, Purdue University, Vincennes University (comprehensive Junior College), Ivy Tech, and some highly rated vocational facilities at Bloomington.

Community Websites

State of Indiana
Owen County Community Foundation
Owen County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corp
Owen County Public Library


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