We have no record of their courtship, nor how or where he met her.
He was twenty-four years old; she became a bride at the tender age of fifteen.
We wonder, was it love at first sight as each other's face was seen?
Although he was disowned by his family because of his and Phoebe's love,
For sixty-seven years their marriage was blessed by God above.
Eleven children were born to their union, as they knew both joy and tears.
Despite the difficulties they must have known, they lived together all those years.
Their love for each other was far greater than what their detractors had to say,
Which is one reason we honor Joseph and Phoebe so much today.
There's no way they could have known, if their thoughts to this time had been cast,
That a great tribute would be paid to them after all those years have rolled past.
Nor could they have imagined the extent to which their family would have grown,
What would they have thought about us, their children, had they only known.
So as we think about their story, about all the things they must have done,
There's something about that story which causes all our hearts to be won.
(NOTE: The above poem was written by Wilfred C. Gleason and was read by his wife, Dorothy Gleason, at the dedication of the new monument for Joseph Owsley and Phoebe Longmire. Dorothy is a descendant of Joseph and Phoebe. The dedication occurred on Friday, June 7, 2002, at the Bakers Forge Memorial Cemetery in Campbell County, Tennessee. The new monument was erected by the Owsley Family Historical Society (OFHS). Many OFHS members attended the dedication.)