Owen Gethin Jones was born in Penmachno in 1816. He was a poet and a local historian, and printed parish histories of Penmachno, Ysbyty Ifan, and Dolwyddelan.
He is best remembered however as a highly successful building and civil engineering contractor. He built many prominent buildings in the area, Saint Mary’s Church and the train station in Betws-y-Coed, Pont-y-Pant station and Rhiwbach Tramway amongst them – but perhaps the grandest of his achievements is the Gethin Viaduct which takes the train line from Betws-y-Coed to Blaenau Ffestiniog from one side of the Lledr valley to the other.
Jones married Ann in 1843, she died in 1873, Owen living on until 1883. He was looked after in his final years by his daughter Mary and her husband Owen Davies of Dolwyddelan.
Newspaper report …
Merthyr Telegraph 9th June 1866
A SINGULAR ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON THE
CYFARTHA RAILWAY LAST WEEK
An itinerant watchmaker was sitting on a parapet of Gethin Bridge, reading a newspaper, when a locomotive came up with a long train of trams laden with bricks; one of the trams slipped just as it was passing the man, struck him off the parapet under the wheels, and these passing over him cut off his legs.