James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

3 children die in infancy

In the 1871 census Elisha’s occupation was listed as 'railway clerk' and his wife's as 'milliner'; the fact that Harriet too was working might suggest that Elisha’s income from his employment with the railway company could not be relied upon. Freight provided much of the traffic particularly on market days at Bishop's Castle when many wagons were borrowed from the GWR and LMS to bolster the line’s own meagre fleet. Passenger traffic was never heavy which was hardly surprising when the short journey often took as long as 50 minutes. Bishop’s Castle Cassey Directory of 1871 includes the entry: Bishop’s Castle Railway - Elisha Edwin Owen, superintendent. However, the information relating to the births and christenings of his children suggests it was at about this time that Elisha relinquished his job as stationmaster, wisely in view of the company’s operating losses. He had almost certainly left before the railway’s next major crisis in 1877. This time bailiffs removed some rails which for several months prevented the movement of rolling stock but the blockade was broken when the bailiffs guarding this section were duped into taking refreshment in a local inn so the track could hastily be repaired!

Three more children were born to Elisha and Harriet in successive years, Oswald James Owen in 1871 [Church Stretton 1871, 2nd qt.], Gertrude Evelyn Owen in 1872 and May Owen in 1873. Tragically during a Scarlet Fever epidemic all three infants died within twelve days of one another in June 1874 [all deaths Church Stretton 1874, 2nd qt].