Tuesday, July 2, 2013


MRS. MINNIE (WALLACE) KEOWN, the wife of JOHN KEOWN, was born in Butler County, Kentucky on October 7, 1895. She was the daughter of W. I. Wallace and Mattie (Austin) Wallace, both of Ohio County, Kentucky. Brother Keown was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, on January 23, 1891, and was the son of N. H. Keown and Isadora (Smith) Keown. They were married on September 27, 1913, on an Ohio County Marriage License, by Pastor Birch Shields. The bride was a member of the Green River Congregation, having been received into its fellowship by Christian Experience and Baptism in September, 1909. She had been baptized by Pastor A. B. Gardner. Her parents had become members many years earlier. Her father had been baptized into the Church's fellowship in August, 1892. The Record is uncertain as to when her mother joined the fellowship. Her father was a member 55 years. Mrs. Minnie Keown has the distinction of being the first woman to ever serve as a Messenger from the Church to the Association. It was in 1948. She attended thereafter in 1950-1954, 1957, 1962-1967, 1969-1970, 1972-1975, for a total of twenty times. But her service as Treasurer of the Church, from November 1950, through August, 1972, for a period of almost twenty-two years was unsurpassed in the Church's history. Also, she served on many Committees of the Church, especially those pertaining to raising funds for the Pastor's Salary, Missions, Building Projects, and the Cemetery Upkeep. 

Although from the Records, Brother Keown was never a member of the Church, he greatly encouraged his wife in her participation in its affairs and attended services with her. The Church Clerk records that on May 9, 1956, Mr. John Keown let the Church have $365.00, interest free, to pay off the debt on a Bus; and, that the Church in appreciation of this had a supper on May 18th following to show it. Mesdames Alton W. Crowe, Hayward R. Casey and Willie (Virgie) Shepherd served as the Committee on Arrangements. Again, it is recorded that, on November 11, 1964, the Church thanked Mr. John Keown for the "hat and coat racks he had made" and put in the vestibule of the 1858-1965 building. The Keowns renewed their marriage vows on their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary, on Sunday, September 29th, 1963. The actual date of the Anniversary was September 27th. The young man who served as the Ring Bearer was Tommy Flener. Brother Keown (b. January 23, 1891 - d. August 14, 1985) and Mrs. Keown (b. October 7, 1895 - d. February 28, 1976) are buried in the Green River Cemetery. She died in her eightieth year and he in his ninety-fourth year. They had no children. Her parents - Willie O. Wallace (1873-1947) and M. T. (Austin) Wallace (1865-1933) - and his parents - N. H. Keown (1864-1952) and Isadora (Smith) Keown (1860-1955) - are also buried in the Green River Cemetery.

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

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