Owen, Robert Dale (11/09/1801-06/24/1877)

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  • Occupation: Reformer, U.S. Representative
  • Number of Terms: 1
  • Committees/Roles: Owen played an important role in the design of the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle." Permanent Committees: Elected to the Executive Committee on 09/08/1846; Elected to the Committee on Buildings on 09/09/1846. Ad Hoc Committees: Elected to the Committee to obtain the permission of those outlined in the act to establish the Institution regarding the board's selection of a building site on 12/09/1846; Sub-Committee of the Building Committee regarding a letter from Mr. Notman on 02/05/1847. Was denied a request to leave the Executive Committee on 12/13/1847 and granted the request on 12/22/1847.


  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress
  • Representative
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • United States Patent Office
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents Ad hoc committees
  • United States. Secretary of State
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • United States. Secretary of War
  • United States. Secretary of the Navy
  • United States. Secretary of the Treasury
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Democratic Party (U.S.)


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of this Regent can be found in the following repositories: Indiana Historical Society; RU 95, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Regent type

Representative (Democrat)




American National Biography. 24 volumes. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989. The Continental Congress (September 5, 1774 to October 21, 1788) and the Congress of the United States (from the first through the one hundredth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1989, inclusive). Bicentennial Edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989; Dictionary of American Biography. Volumes 1-20. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928-1936; Who Was Who in America. A component volume of "Who's Who in American History." Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Revised Edition. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1967.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


Regent Tenure: 08/10/1846-12/1847


  • Legislators
  • Politicians
  • Architecture--Washington (D.C.)
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Regents
  • Indiana


  • Indiana
  • United States



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