Change in occupation
A report in The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 22 March 1872, p.6 indicates that within a year of the 1871 census Elisha had becomne a grocer and that he had almost certainly taken over the business his father-in-law had run. The Finance Committee's Report to the Shropshire Sessions the previous Monday had listed "the parties convicted for the second time, or oftener, of having illegal weights or scales" and "Elisha Owen, grocer, Craven Arms" was a two-time offender; not as bad as the Bishops Castle Railway Company which was a four-time offender but then he had been in the business only a very short time.
The change of occupation was confirmed by the 1881 census, where Elisha was a 'corn merchant' living at "The Village", Wistanstow (map and pictures). By 1897 he describes his occupation as a master draper and grocer. The shop he had in Wistanstow was part of a substantial property, including as it did a house, outbuildings and garden. It was later called "The Hollies" and remained in the family until the mid-1950s.
Further family tragedy
After such a traumatic and tragic series of events in the early 1870s, it is not surprising that some time elapsed before the arrival of Elisha and Harriett's next child. Frank Penrhos Owen (another instance of the use of the name 'Penrhos' in the family) was born on 28 February 1878. Other children followed: Vera Wilding Owen in about January 1881, Norman Wilding Owen in 1883, Gladys Elaine Owen in 1885 [Church Stretton 1885, 3rd qt], Nigel Ambler Owen in 1888 and Rachel Violet Owen in 1896 [Church Stretton 1896, 4th qt].
Having faced one tragic episode, the family was to endure another, Gladys and Rachel both dying early in 1897 [reg. Church Stretton 1897, 1st qt]. The cause of death for Gladys, who died on 6 March 1897, was given as 'cerebro-spinal fever (14 days) and exhaustion'.