Side A: Virginia native William Owen, 1769-1821, is credited with being the first American to settle in Mad River Township, Champaign County sometime between 1797-1799. He and his family built a cabin in the northeast quarter of Section 15 directly west of this marker. Later he purchased 240 acres on which the cabin stood for $1.00 an acre from William Ward, founder of Urbana. Accused of being an eccentric, Owen was known for strong language and long oration during times of stress. Owen also raised swine and was called Kosko Elene or Hogman by the local Shawnee Indian population who were known to have taken a few piglets when Owen was not around. Owen and his wife reared eight children and both are interred in the family pioneer cemetery in the woods to the west.
Sponsors: Mad River Township Trustees, Westville United Methodist Church, Champaign County Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee, and The Ohio Historical Society