Alfred OWEN – Ironmonger 1834-1912

by Annette Edwards.


Alfred Owen was born in Shrewsbury about 1834, he was the son of Samuel Owen and Elizabeth Lambrook.

In 1851 Alfred was with his family in Shrewsbury, he brothers Peter and Samuel H. His father Samuel was an accountant and land agent who was from Ludlow. Alfred was an ironmonger’s apprentice. By 1863 he had moved to Wrexham.

On 16 October 1866 he married Dorah Eyland Rogers who was born 2 March 1833, she was the daughter of Edward Rogers and Elizabeth Eyland. Her father was a successful tailor and woolen draper in Charles Street for many years until his death in 1865.


By 1871 they were living at Dorah’s old family home in Charles Street. Alfred was a master ironmonger, they had 3 children Helen Elizabeth born 1867, Alfred Ernest born 1869 and Maria Gertrude born 1870. Another daughter Dora Mabel was born in 1871.

In 1879 his Uncle Alderman Samuel Smith, a successful timber merchant in Shrewsbury died without any children from his marriage to Margaret Owen. He left money to Alfred and his brother Peter to enable them to set up business.

Alfred put his money to good use. He invested in stocks and shares, purchased properties in Wrexham to add to his Shrewsbury portfolio and backed many of the mortgages of properties in the Wrexham area.

By 1881 Alfred was employing 27 men and they had moved to Woodhey, Sontley Road.

Alfred helped his son Alfred Ernest with his partnership in the Rubery Owen Company.

In 1883 a John Tunner founded Rubery and Company in Darlaston with his two brothers, in 1888 the partnership was dissolved, and John was joined by a new partner, Alfred Ernest Owen, an engineer from Wrexham, who had been premium apprentice at a factory in Chester.  John Rubery, who lived round the corner from the factory in Willenhall Road, put £2,000 into the partnership, and Alfred Owen put in £1,000, supplied by his father, Alfred Owen, from Woodhey, Wrexham.

By 1891 Alfred had retired from his business and was involved in many of the town matters.  He was a shareholder of the Wrexham Market Hall Company, and in 1891 it was reported that the names of Mr John Prichard, Longfields, and Mr Alfred Owen, Woodhey, have been recommended to the Lord Chancellor to be placed on the Borough Commission of the Peace.  He was also a director of the Wrexham Gas Light Company.

The couple remained in Woodhey until their deaths. Alfred died 21 November 1912; he was a very wealthy man. Dorah died 22 April 1927 at Woodhey. Their daughter Dora Mabel never married and she died aged 70 in February 1948 also at Woodhey.

They are all buried together.

Annette Edwards. With thanks to Deborah Smith for family photos.


Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-03847

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