Owens, Elizabeth McAnulty (1827–1905)

By: Craig H. Roell

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Elizabeth McAnulty Owens, known for her reminiscences of the Victoria, Texas, area during the Texas Revolution and the turbulent years of the early Republic of Texas, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on November 14, 1827, the daughter of Bernard and Margaret McAnulty, who had immigrated from Ireland in 1819. After the death of her father, her mother married James Quinn, who moved the family to Texas in 1829. After a stay in the McMullen-McGloin colony at San Patricio, they settled in De León's colony on a league of land near the site of present Mission Valley in 1835. Quinn joined Plácido Benavides's volunteers to reinforce James W. Fannin's command at Goliad, where his brother, William Quinn, had earlier signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence. James Quinn returned to Guadalupe Victoria to protect his family, one of the few families that remained in the settlement during its occupation by the Mexican army under Gen. José de Urrea following Fannin's defeat in the battle of Coleto near Victoria. Elizabeth left a valuable account of the occupation and of the subsequent turbulence, including the Linnville Raid of 1840 and the invasion of Adrián Woll in 1843. She married Richard Owens in Victoria on April 8, 1844. In her lifetime she was respected as an area pioneer. During the Civil War Mrs. Owens and her daughters sewed the regimental flag for Col. Robert Garland's Sixth Texas Infantry, using materials from her husband's mercantile store. The flag, made of red merino with a white silk fringe, featured a large blue shield containing twelve white stars around a larger star that signified the Lone Star State; white silk letters indicated the regiment's name. The flag was surrendered at the battle of Arkansas Post in 1863. At the time of her death Mrs. Owens was honored as charter president of the Evergreen Cemetery Association, whose efforts preserved Victoria's historic cemetery, and as benefactress of Nazareth Convent (see NAZARETH ACADEMY) at the old St. Mary's Catholic Church. Elizabeth Owens died in Victoria on May 14, 1905. Her reminiscences of Victoria during the revolution and the republic were told to her daughters before and during 1900, reproduced from the original notes, and published as Elizabeth McAnulty Owens: The Story of Her Life (1936). Among her twelve children were Minnie Owens Pridham, wife of Frank Roberts Pridham, a publisher of the Victoria Advocate, and Kate Owens Welder, wife of the prominent Victoria rancher and banker James F. Welder.

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Roy Grimes, ed., 300 Years in Victoria County (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1968; rpt., Austin: Nortex, 1985). The Victoria Sesquicentennial "Scrapbook" (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1974).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Craig H. Roell, “Owens, Elizabeth McAnulty,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/owens-elizabeth-mcanulty.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995

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