University of Arizona

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Ownby Family Papers

Photograph of the Ownby House, circa 1885

Pioneer family who moved from Bakersfield, California to Lordsburg, New Mexico in 1881, where they operated a boarding establishment, the Ownby House.

Collection includes letters and photographs. Original and typescript copies of personal letters from Anna Ownby to her husband, Bramble B. Ownby, from 1881-1888. They relate daily events in Lordsburg, while he was away working on the railroad. There is also an 1881 letter from Bramble's brother J.R.Ownby to his father, and an 1884 letter from John Salkeld to "Dear Children." A two-page typescript of a 1944 statement made by Bramble Ownby recounts his early years in New Mexico. Among the photographs are one of Anna in 1896, and others of unidentified family members; two of the earlier photos are tintypes. Images of historic buildings in Lordsburg include the railway depot, several different "Ownby Houses," and the saloon in 1884. A printed social invitation to the Ownby's is for a dancing party at Clifton, Arizona in 1884.