Owen is a small town in the centre of a grain growing area, established in the late 1870s and named after John Owen who was a local landowner. The town layout is similar to that of Colonel Light's Adelaide, with parklands around the urban centre square.
In 1880, the Western System railway line between Hamley Bridge and Balaklava was opened, and it was a great asset to the early settlers. Despite being a small rural settlement with silos reinforcing the skyline, the town in recent times has become popular with commuters due to its relaxed and casual rural living, while still being in close proximity to Adelaide. The Wooroora Hotel, now known as the Owen Arms, was established in 1905 by WR Standley and remained in that family until 1972.