|Major John Owen as he appeared in 1871.|
Portrait from Dunbar and Philips, Journals and Letters of Major John Owen.
The following morning, February 17, Tenth Legislative Assembly President W. E. Bass, Owen’s longtime close friend, escorted him from the territory. After an arduous journey by stage and rail, Bass handed over Major Owen to relatives in Philadelphia. Weeks later, on April 1, thirteen indigent mentally incompetent patients were admitted to the new, privately owned hospital at Warm Springs established under House Bill No. 1.
John Owen lived another twelve years, probably a victim of what we now know as Alzheimer’s disease. He died in 1889. The Helena Weekly Herald of July 12, 1889, quietly noted John Owen’s passing: “. . . Maj. Owen was for a long time one of the most enterprising, prosperous, influential and public-spirited men in this section of the country. . . . In his prime he was a man of ability, culture and influence . . . . The older generation of Montanians will cherish pleasant memories of Maj. Owen as they first knew him.”
|Fort Owen today is a state monument, operated as a state park.|