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William D. Owen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William D. Owen
William D. Owen (Indiana Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1891
Preceded byThomas Jefferson Wood
Succeeded byDavid H. Patton
Secretary of State of Indiana
In office
January 17, 1895 – January 16, 1899
GovernorClaude Matthews
James A. Mount
Preceded byWilliam R. Myers
Succeeded byUnion B. Hunt
Personal details
Born(1846-09-06)September 6, 1846
Bloomington, Indiana
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Ross (d. 1885)
Lucy A. (Williams) Luce (d. 1899)
Alma materIndiana University

William Dale Owen (his middle name is given as "Dunn" in some references) (September 6, 1846 – date of death unknown) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana. Before serving in Congress he was a clergyman, attorney, newspaper editor, and the author of two books. After serving in Congress and as Secretary of State of Indiana, he engaged in various business ventures, including promotion of coffee and rubber plantations in Mexico. In 1905 his business partner was arrested; in 1906 the partner was convicted of fraud and theft, and imprisoned. Owen left the United States to avoid prosecution; what happened to him after he fled the country is not known.

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this video is sponsored by Skillshare! hey, welcome to 12tone! about a month ago, I got an email from a musician named Reuben Nebbett-Blades, who'd been experimenting with what they called anti-scales and was wondering if I had ever seen them before. I hadn't, but it seemed like an interesting idea so, with Reuben's permission, I started playing around with it to see what I could find, and I think I'm ready to share my results. first, though, let's talk about what these anti-scales are. they're pretty closely related to what's called a complement, which is a scale made out of all the notes that aren't in a different scale, so if we take F major (bang) we have F, but we don't have F#, so I'll put that over here to keep track. then we have G, but no G# so that goes on our list too. speeding this up a bit, we have A, we have Bb, we don't have B, we have C, we don't have C#, we have D, we don't have D#, and we have E, and if we take these extra notes and arrange them like so (bang) we see that the complement of F major is a scale called B major pentatonic. sort of. why only sort of? well, this process is what's called modally invariant, which is a fancy way of saying it doesn't matter which note is the root. we said this was B major pentatonic, but we could've just as easily arranged the notes like this: (bang) and got G# minor pentatonic instead. playing the same notes but using a different root gives you what's called a mode, and since any of these five notes could be the root, all five modes of the scale are totally valid complements of F major. and it gets even worse, 'cause major has modes too: we called this F major, but if we'd called it D minor instead (bang) it would've had the same notes and, thus, the same complement, so really, assigning any scale names at all is kinda misleading. all we can really say is that these 5 notes in some order are the complement of these 7 notes in some order. Reuben's anti-scales, on the other hand, work a little differently. instead of just being all the notes missing from the parent scale, an anti-scale is all those notes but played over the same root, so F major (bang) would flip into this. (bang) these five notes form the complement, but we've held onto the F as well, giving us a 6-note scale that's the unique polar opposite of the 7-note scale we started with. the process is no longer modally invariant: every anti-scale is different. so what can we do with this? well, from a composition perspective, the first thing that comes to mind is a technique I used to play around with back in college, which I called collaborative chromatics. in it, two different parts, either two sections of a song or two simultaneous instrumental lines if I was feeling frisky, would be written in two different scales such that, while each one was reasonably normal on its own, the two parts taken together used all 12 notes. the goal, in effect, was to juxtapose two very different tonal landscapes into one coherent whole. to be honest, I never got very far with it, but in retrospect, maybe that's 'cause I was stuck using complements, which made it really hard to make them feel connected. maybe if I'd been using anti-scales instead, the shared root would've given me the grounding I needed in order to create something that actually, you know, worked. but these days I'm more of a theorist than a composer, so what really got me excited here was looking at what this process could tell us about the structure of these scales. there's a lot of angles to approach this from, but one thing immediately stood out to me. here, let's look at anti-major again: (bang) now I don't know about you, but to me, this looks really familiar. if I just sneak an extra note in the middle here, we get this: (bang) which is a scale called Locrian. and here's the thing: Locrian is a mode of major. specifically, it's the 7th mode, so F locrian (bang) is all the same notes as Gb major (bang) but played with F as the root. so anti-major is a subset of Locrian, and Locrian is a mode of major, which means that, effectively, anti-major is major, just jumbled around and with a hole poked in the middle. I decided to call this property anti-scale equivalence, and unlike with complements, it's not modally invariant. like, natural minor (bang) is another mode of major, but if we take its anti-scale (bang) we get something with a minor 2nd and a major 3rd, which is an interval pattern that none of minor's modes have. going through, only four of major's modes have this equivalence: Major, Locrian, Lydian, the 4th mode, and Phrygian, the 2nd. the other three all flip into weird scales from outside the modal family. so naturally I started wondering how common this property was. do most 7-note scales have it? is it just these four? I sat down to work it all out and… immediately got bored. in my defense, there's 462 possible 7-note scales, and I'd have to check each one's anti-scale against all its modes, which sounds exhausting. fortunately, doing repetitive calculations on large data sets is exactly what computers are made for, and my dad happens to be a pretty accomplished programmer, so he and I worked together to write a quick program to find all the 7-note scales with anti-scale equivalence. turns out there's 68, which is a much more reasonable number to work with. once I had that list, I went through it to see what I could find that might help me explain how this property works, but before I get to those results, I gotta do a quick definition. this problem is pretty close to a field called musical set theory, which mainly concerns itself with objects called sets. a set is kind of like a modal family: if you took all the possible major scales and all their modes and bundled those all together, you'd have a set. specifically, you'd have set FN 7-35, but the name's not super important here. what matters is that you're reducing the scale to its pattern of intervals without worrying about what the actual pitches are or which one is the root. so anyway, what did I find? well, most of my initial guesses proved wrong. like, from the first couple examples I played with, I expected the parent scales to have a lot of minor 2nds and major 7ths. I figured having the notes right next to the root on either side might make it easier to avoid awkward spacing elsewhere 'cause it let you get a half-step into your parent scale without forcing your anti-scale to skip two notes in a row, but it turns out that, if anything, there's fewer of those notes than you'd expect. not by a huge margin, and probably not significant, but still, not what I was expecting. I also thought I'd see some sort of restriction on the size of scale-steps: any large leaps in the parent scale would correspond to long runs of half-steps in the anti-scale, which would then have to be matched back into the parent scale, and I figured some combinations might just be impossible, but turns out… nope. pretty much every combination of scale-steps I could think of made it onto the list somewhere. but it wasn't all failures: I had also guessed that many of the sets represented on my list would be non-invertible. effectively, they'd have a mode that was a palindrome, like Dorian, the second mode of major: (bang) here, we start with a whole step, and we also end with a whole step. going inward, we have these half-steps, then these whole steps, then finally another whole step in the middle. basically, the interval pattern is the same in either direction, so if we turn the whole thing upside-down (bang) we get the same scale we started with. and since as we mentioned, sets are just interval patterns, if one mode inverts to itself, then all the other modes will wind up inverting to each other, and the family as a whole won't actually invert at all. now, not all the scales on my list do this: there's 16 sets represented, and only 9 of them are non-invertible, which is barely over half. but on the other hand, there's only 10 non-invertible 7-note sets total, which means 90% of them are represented here, so while anti-scale equivalence doesn't predict non-inversion, non-inversion does a pretty good job predicting anti-scale equivalence, which probably means something. another potentially important observation is that most of the sets on my list include their prime form. the prime form is basically the mode where all the notes are as flat as possible, so like major's prime form is Locrian (bang) because every other mode has at least one note that's higher than the corresponding pitch in Locrian. there's some extra rules for resolving ties, but basically, I figured you were more likely to find this property on the extreme ends of modal families, and the prime form is one of those extremes, so it seemed likely that if the set could be equivalent at all, the prime form would probably be one of the scales that was. and as it turns out, I was right: of the 16 sets, 13 of them included their prime form. but the big break came when I decided to check the missing notes. basically, when you turn a 7-note parent scale into a 6-note anti-scale, you have to add one note back in in order to get your complete mode, so like if you take anti-major: (bang) you have to add a perfect 4th in order to make Locrian. some scales actually have a couple options here, like anti-Locrian: (bang) where you can add a perfect 4th to get back to major, but you can also add a tritone to get to another mode, Lydian. (bang) anyway, I was curious if there was any pattern to the notes you had to add, so I went through, and… yeah. there was a pattern, alright. of the 68 scales on my list, 36 of them had the tritone as an option, 30 of which had it as their only option. it was by far the most common missing note. so, why? well, I'd guess it has something to do with the fact that the tritone is symmetrical: F to B is a tritone, and B to F is too. this means that every scale with a tritone also has a mode with a tritone, and since the missing note is just the one that both scales share, it's easy to see why this one would be so popular. but I think it's more than that. being symmetrical means the tritone splits the octave cleanly in two, so all we have to do is line up the notes in the bottom half with the gaps in the top half so that when we flip the scale those notes and gaps just switch places, giving us a really easy template for anti-scale equivalence. and this explanation is supported by looking at the rest of the missing note data: second place is a tie between the minor 3rd and the major 6th. much like the tritone splits the octave in half, these two intervals split the tritone in half, giving us a more involved version of the same technique. seeing a lot of those two, then, implies that octave divisions are important here. but probably the best evidence comes from looking at the only two notes that aren't on the list at all: the major 3rd and the minor 6th. these two intervals together divide the octave up into three equal sections, the only odd number you can divide it by in standard tuning. having three equal sections means we'd have to line up the notes in the bottom 3rd with the gaps in the middle, which would then be lined up with the notes in the top, which, if we continue past the octave, would then be lined up with the gaps in the bottom, but since they already have to be lined up with the notes in the bottom, this creates an impossible template, which means these notes can never be shared between a parent scale and its target mode. I think. that's my theory, anyway, and the data seems to support it. so what does this all mean? uh… yeah, good question. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. I have some observations, and some possible explanations, but nothing groundbreaking yet. it's kind of a weird problem: it feels like it belongs to musical set theory, but most of the serious work in that field is done with stuff that's modally invariant. heck, getting rid of the concept of a root is, like, half the point of set theory, so the question of anti-scale equivalence doesn't quite fit in. it's a conceptual outlier. but hey, I'm far from the best set theorist out there, so if anyone wants to take a crack at this, I've included my list in the description, along with most of the stuff I checked for, so feel free to take a look and see what you come up with! and while you're exploring new things, why not check out this video's sponsor, Skillshare? it's a really cool online learning platform with over 25 thousand lessons in music production, design, cooking, and so much more! in fact, my friend and fellow youtuber Mike Boyd recently released a course over there called Guitar Fundamentals to help get you started learning one of the most popular instruments in modern music. plus he also has another course about how to pick up new skills quickly which, if you're at all familiar with Mike's work, you know he's an expert at. Skillshare's offering a free two-month trial membership to the first 500 12tone viewers to click the link in the desciption, which includes full premium access so you can try out all sorts of classes on whatever you want to learn, and if you like what you see, sticking around is super affordable, with premium plans starting under 10 bucks a month. it's a great deal, but you don't have to take my word for it: again, there's two free months with the link in the description so you can try it out yourself risk-free. and hey, thanks for watching, and thanks to our Patreon patrons for supporting us and making these videos possible. if you want to help out, and get some sweet perks like sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, there's a link to our Patreon on screen now. you can also join our mailing list to find out about new episodes, like, share, comment, subscribe, and above all, keep on rockin'.


Early life

Owen was born in Bloomington, Indiana, the son of William D. Owen and Priscilla (Rawlings) Owen.[1] He was educated in Bloomington, and began working as a store clerk at age 13 to save money so that he could attend college.[2] He worked until age 18, including time as a farmhand and a brickyard laborer in addition to his work as a store clerk.[3] He attended Indiana University in Bloomington for over two years, and left before graduating so that he could begin to study law in the office of a local attorney.[4]

Start of career

He quit the study of law when he was called to the ministry; he received his ordination in the Christian Church in 1870, and became pastor of congregations in Oxford, Indiana, Salem, Oregon, Tallula, Illinois, and Chicago, Illinois.[5] In 1878 he resumed the study of law, attained admission to the bar, and began to practice, first in Oxford, and later in Logansport.[6] In addition, Owen was a part-owner and editor of two weekly newspapers, the Logansport Saturday Night[7] and the Logansport Sunday Critic.[8]

In 1880, Owen was a Republican candidate for presidential elector; his party carried Indiana, and he cast his ballot for the ticket of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.[9] Owen also published two well-received books, 1878's Success In Life, And How To Secure It, and 1883's The Genius Of Industry, Or How Work Wins and Manhood Grows.[10]


Owen was elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses (March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1891).[11] He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress.[12]

From July 1, 1891 to April 7, 1893 Owen served as the first Superintendent of the United States Office of Immigration; he had been chairman of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization during his Congressional service, and played a lead role in passage of the legislation which created the agency.[13]

Indiana Secretary of State

Owen was elected Secretary of State of Indiana in 1894[14] and served from January 17, 1895 to January 16, 1899.[15][16][17]

Later life and career

After leaving office, Owen engaged in real estate speculation and invested in coffee and rubber plantations in Mexico.[18]

In 1905, Owen and his business partner were indicted for fraud and theft in connection with the promotion of their Mexican plantations.[19] The partner was convicted and sentenced to prison.[20] Owen fled the United States to escape prosecution.[21] Individuals from Indiana later reported having seen Owen in Paris, Switzerland, and Egypt, but the sightings did not lead to his arrest.[22][23]

An individual was arrested in Georgia in 1909 and accused of being Owen.[24] Investigators subsequently determined it to be a case of mistaken identity, and the individual who had been detained was released.[25]

Owen's whereabouts after he fled the country, his date of death, and his burial location are not known. There is a grave marker in his name at Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, the burial location of his first wife.[26][27]


In 1871, Owen married Mary Ross of Cincinnati, Ohio.[28] They had two children who died infancy; she died in December 1885.[29][30]

In 1888, Owen married Lucy A. (Williams) Luce, a widow from Logan, Iowa.[31][32] They had met in Washington; during the 1888 Republican National Convention, Owen became ill and Luce nursed him until he was well.[33][34] The second Mrs. Owen died on a train in Arkansas on April 1, 1899 while returning with her husband from a visit to his Mexican plantations.[35] She was buried in her hometown of Logan, Iowa.[36]


  1. ^ Seeds, Russel M. (1899). History of the Republican Party of Indiana. 1. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana History Co. p. 302.
  2. ^ History of the Republican Party of Indiana
  3. ^ History of the Republican Party of Indiana
  4. ^ Helm, Thomas B. (1886). History of Cass County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller. pp. 543–545.
  5. ^ History of Cass County, Indiana
  6. ^ History of Cass County, Indiana
  7. ^ "Advertisement, Brown's Iron Bitters patent medicine". Fort Wayne Sentinel. Fort Wayne, IN. September 28, 1882. p. 4.
  8. ^ Wright, Williamson Swift (1907). Pastime Sketches:Scenes and Events at "The Mouth of Eel" on the Historic Wabash. Logansport, IN: Cass County Historical Society. p. 201.
  9. ^ History of the Republican Party of Indiana
  10. ^ "Mr. Owen Gets There: The Ex-Congressman Appointed Superintendent of Immigration". Indianapolis News. Indianapolis, IN. June 5, 1891. p. 1.
  11. ^ Herringshaw, Thomas William (1904). Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, IL: American Publishers' Association. p. 710.
  12. ^ "Election Echoes". The Daily Democrat. Huntington, IN. November 6, 1890. p. 2.
  13. ^ "Mr. Owen Gets There"
  14. ^ "The State, County and Town Show Republican Gains". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Logansport, IN. November 8, 1894. p. 13.
  15. ^ Cook, Homer L. (1916). Biennial Report. Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Printing Company. p. 115.
  16. ^ "The newly-elected State officers will take their offices on the following dates". Huntington Weekly Herald. Huntington, IN. November 16, 1894. p. 2.
  17. ^ "The newly-elected state officers will take their places this month". Monroeville Breeze. Monroeville, IN. January 19, 1899. p. 4.
  18. ^ The Manual of Statistics: Stock Exchange Hand-book. New York, NY: Manual of Statistics Company. 1903. p. 444.
  19. ^ "A Serious Charge is Resting Over Former Secretary of State William D. Owen". Elwood Free Press. Elwood, IN. November 16, 1905. p. 3.
  20. ^ "Brilliant Borges of Ubero is Guilty". Indianapolis News. Indianapolis, IN. June 9, 1906. p. 1.
  21. ^ "Investors Lose Millions; Postoffice Department Unearths the Gigantic Fraud". The Daily Times. New Philadelphia, OH. April 18, 1905. p. 1.
  22. ^ "Indiana Fugitive Said to be in Egypt and in Good Health". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. May 12, 1905. p. 4.
  23. ^ "A Promoter Convicted: Ferdinand E. Borges Found Guilty by a Boston Jury of Larceny and Conspiracy; Former Congressman is Implicated". Galena Evening Times. Galena, KS. June 11, 1906. p. 1.
  24. ^ "Bonanza Land Man Under Arrest; William D. Owen Charged with Fraud in Mexican Schemes". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Green Bay, WI. March 31, 1909. p. 1.
  25. ^ "Arrest of Supposed W. D. Owen a Mistake: Boston Officers Say so, on Arrival in Georgia; He is Released at Once". The Republic. Columbus, IN. April 5, 1909. p. 2.
  26. ^ William D. Owen at Find a Grave
  27. ^ Mary Ross Owen at Find A Grave
  28. ^ History of Cass County, Indiana
  29. ^ History of Cass County, Indiana
  30. ^ "Notes: Mrs. W. D. Owen, wife of the representative in Congress from Logansport, Indiana, died in this city of consumption this morning". Fort Wayne Daily Gazette. Fort Wayne, Indiana. December 24, 1885. p. 1.
  31. ^ "Congressman Owen to Wed". Fort Wayne Sentinel. Fort Wayne, IN. November 20, 1888. p. 1.
  32. ^ "Mrs. W. D. Owen". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Logansport, IN. May 26, 1890. p. 4.
  33. ^ "Congressman Owen to Wed"
  34. ^ "Congressman Owen's Bride". Saint Paul Globe. Saint Paul, MN. November 19, 1888. p. 1.
  35. ^ "He Brings Home His Dead: Ex-Secretary Owen Returns in Sorrow from His trip to Mexico". Huntington Weekly Herald. Huntington, IN. April 7, 1899. p. 7.
  36. ^ "Funeral of Mrs. W. D. Owen: Remains Taken to Logan, Iowa Today for Interment". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Logansport, IN. April 4, 1899. p. 24.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas Jefferson Wood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 10th congressional district

1885 – 1891
Succeeded by
David H. Patton
Political offices
Preceded by
William R. Myers
Secretary of State of Indiana
Succeeded by
Union B. Hunt

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

This page was last edited on 14 June 2019, at 21:31
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