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Robert Owen (1856-1947) was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was one of the first two U.S. senators from Oklahoma. He worked as a school teacher, lawyer, administrator, journalist, a federal Indian agent, and president of a community bank. Owen was known for his success as a lawyer. In 1906, Owen represented Eastern Cherokees and won the case seeking compensation against the U.S. Government for land the Cherokees had lost at the time of the Indian removals. Owen was also a leader in creating the Child Labor Act.

Key Contributions

The highlight of his Senate career was his involvement with the Federal Reserve System. He co-sponsored the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which created the Federal Reserve System. After his retirement from the Senate, Owen practiced law and undertook lobbying in Washington D.C. Owen also spent time promoting an international alphabet. It received a significant amount of media attention but was unsuccessful. An area near one of the Federal Reserve buildings in Washington, D.C. is known as Robert Latham Owen Park. Owen died in 1947.

Robert Owen was a strong leader and had a lasting impact on the community with his involvement in the Federal Reserve System. He was an educator and an advocate for children (i.e., Child Labor Act). He was also an advocate for the Cherokees in the case seeking compensation for land lost at the time of the Indian removals.

People would look up to Owen because of the life he led. He was a former school teacher and once ran for president. He helped create the Federal Reserve System, which is still in use today. One can find the words, “Federal Reserve” on any currency used in the U.S.. 

Robert Owen