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Lucy Ellen Turner Ownbey was born May 8, 1899 on Hurricane Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia.  She was the daughter of David Wilson Turner and Abigail Presley.    Lucy was born, grew up and raised her family on the same family farm.  They owned the local sawmill, had large gardens, and if the stories are true, had a moonshine stil in the hollow behind the house.

Lucy was an outgoing, happy person.  She never met a stranger and I can guarantee she would know your family history before you left.  There was sure to be a grandfather, grandmother, uncle, or some family member she knew. 

Marriage to John Ellis Ownbey was an adventure for Lucy.  They "slipped off" from John Ellis' family (her family knew of her plans), rode a horse over the mountains to the nearest town of Honaker, Virginia, caught a train to Bristol, Virginia and married there.  John Ellis' family wanted him to go to college to become a doctor like his brothers, but meeting brown eyed Lucy changed all those plans.  John Ellis was quiet and reserved - Lucy was anything but!  She loved to laugh, sing, play music, and tell tall tales.  With John Ellis' quiet support Lucy raised her four children with little money, lots of love, a strong belief in God, and taught them the art of making the best of everything and laughing at life in general.

Lucy was a lady and practiced true mountain hospitality.  Her door was always open with food, a cool drink, and a helping hand ready.  There was always a kind word or tall tale on the tip of her tongue.  She taught Sunday School every Sunday and fed the preacher most Sunday afternoons.  I can still remember Sunday dinners with all the Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and (of course) the preacher gathered around a table groaning under the weight of good country cooking. 

There are dozens of special memories of times shared with Mamaw, but my favorite is a quiet time in the evening on the front porch swing listening to the hootowl, bobwhite, and Mamaw tell a tall tale, ghost story, or family history story.  Her love and tall tales will enrich this family for generations. 




Music Courtesy of

Captain Dave's Music Factory

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