Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Stephen L. Hardin

OWEN, CLARK L. (1808–1862). Clark L. Owen, soldier and politician, son of Abraham Owen, was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, in 1808. He left a mercantile business at New Castle, Kentucky, to fight in the Texas Revolution. He left Kentucky in March 1836 and arrived in Texas before July 18, when he enlisted as a private in Capt. Joseph H. D. Rogers's company of Kentucky Volunteers. Owen served as captain of Company A, First Regiment, from October 31 until December 31, 1836. In May 1837 he joined the Army of the Republic of Texas and was commissioned a captain. He served as first lieutenant in Capt. Thomas J. Rabb's company on John H. Moore's campaign against the Comanches in the fall of 1840 and participated in the battle of Plum Creek.

Owen declined the position of secretary of the treasury in President Sam Houston's cabinet but was appointed colonel and placed in command of a troop that patrolled around Corpus Christi, an area harried by repeated border raids. Houston gave Owen the discretionary power to proclaim martial law at Corpus Christi, but he restored order without resorting to that measure. Owen served as a captain of a company on the Somervell expedition, and in 1842 he was a member of the Mier expedition but apparently was not among those taken prisoner.

After military service he settled in Texana, Jackson County, where he farmed, raised stock, and married Laura Martha McNutt Wells, the daughter of Dr. Francis F. Wells. Owen represented Jackson, Matagorda, and Victoria counties in the Senate of the Sixth Congress (1841–42) and served until his resignation during the called session of the Seventh Congress. He opposed secession, but once Texas left the Union he offered his services to the Confederacy and raised a company for the Second Texas Infantry, which became part of the Army of Tennessee. On April 6, 1862, Captain Owen fell leading Company I against federal positions at Shiloh.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Stephen L. Hardin, "OWEN, CLARK L.," accessed July 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox