Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for William Gundy OWENS

His bio is on the Bucknell University web site:

William G. Owens, who was born in 1858, graduated from Bucknell University in 1880. While a student, he served as editor for the College Herald, the student newspaper. After graduation, he was appointed as “an assistant to the Principal of the Academy at a salary of $450.00 per annum” where he taught for a time before he was appointed Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences in 1885 at a salary of $1,000.00 per annum. In 1887, Owens was appointed Professor, “…it being understood that the change in title does not involve an increase in salary”. In 1889, he spent part of the year studying at the University of Berlin in Germany. Professor Owens was an active worker in the Baptist Church. He retired in 1935, having served as head of the chemistry department for forty-eight years. In honor of his more than fifty years of service to the University (1880 - 1935), the Board of Trustees retired him on a pension. He was also awarded an honorary Sc.D. William Gundy Owens died in 1951, and he is buried in the Lewisburg Cemetery.

His father and siblings attended the University. His father attended the Academy, but with withdrew from the College of the University at Lewisburg during his freshman year to teach school. After the Civil War, in which he served as a captain, he resumed teaching and ultimately became superintendent of schools in Union County, Pennsylvania. His brother, Everett G., attended the Academy and completed the sophomore year in the College. In 1886, Everett married Carrie G. Loomis, daughter of ex-President Justin R. Loomis. Another brother, John G., graduated from Bucknell University in 1887. Finally, his sister, Mary Catherine, graduated from Lewisburg High School in 1891, and from Bucknell University in 1897.

Again from Bucknell University web page:

By the mid-1880's, there was an increased interest in science, and in 1885 students at the University presented a petition requesting an additional professor of Natural Sciences. That same year, William Gundy Owens, Class of 1880, was appointed Adjunct Professor of Natural Sciences. Owens drew the plans for the Physical and Chemical Laboratory, which were approved by the Trustees in June, 1887, the same year that Owens was given the title of "Professor of Physics and Chemistry."

College Faculty, 1895 and he was still there in 1915:

William Gundy Owens, Professor of Physics and Chemistry, A.B., Bucknell University, 1880, and A.M., Bucknell University, 1883.

One of his students later established a scholorship in his memory.


6/23/1900 Lewisburg, Union Co, PA. At census time William was 42, married 14 years to Jeanette F, 40, who had birthed 3 children, all living. In the household were children Elsie, 13, Albert, 11, Jeanette, 3; his 64 year old father and sister Mary K, 24.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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