ELIJAH T. TOWNSEND. The Townsend family, of which this gentleman is a member, are of English descent. Many years ago, three brothers, Elijah, John and Isaiah Townsend (cousins of Glen Townsend, of Quebec), left the shores of the mother country and sailed to America. They settled in Egg Harbor City, N. J., and Elijah there reared a family of children, among whom was one named Daniel.
Daniel Townsend was born August 14, 1747, in Egg Harbor City, N. J., where he grew to manhood and engaged in the lumber business. In 1776 he entered the Revolutionary war, serving about two years, participating in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Monmouth. In 1779 he came to Washington county, Penn., bought 400 acres of land of Joshua Wright, and settled permanently on that tract. He was married to Lydia Sawens, of Massachusetts, who bore him children as follows: Catherine (Mrs. John Baird, Beaver county), Naomi (Mrs. Uriah Burton), Julia (wife of Peters Sharp), Margaret (wife of William Chisler, Ohio), Rebecca (Mrs. John Hozer, Mercer county, Penn.), Ruth (Mrs. Stephen Higby, Ohio), Lydia (wife of Arthur Devore, Ohio), Elijah (a lieutenant in the war of 1812, died in 1871), and Joseph, all of whom were married, and are now deceased. The father was a Democrat in politics; he died September 1, 1833.
Joseph Townsend, son of Daniel and Lydia (Sawens) Townsend, was born March 1, 1796, on the old place in Washington county, Penn. He lived at home until fifteen years of age, then entered the war of 1812 as a fifer, but was brought home by his father. A few years later the juvenile warrior had so far modified his views as to prefer rural life. He became an excellent farmer, and devoted much attention to sheep raising. In early life he was united in marriage with Nancy, daughter of Col. William Blackmore, and granddaughter of Samuel Blackmore, the latter of whom owned 400 acres on the site of the present city of Washington. The property was leased for ninety-nine years, the heirs having never claimed it. William Blackmore, son of Samuel, came with his father from Washington, D. C., to Washington county, Penn., and there reared six children, viz.: Thomas, Charles, Nancy (Mrs. Townsend), Eliza, Ellen, and Arabella, all now deceased but Nancy. To Joseph and Nancy (Blackmore) Townsend were born three children, namely: Charles W., Daniel B. and William (deceased in youth). The mother died September 5, 1833, and in 1834 Joseph Townsend was married to Nancy, daughter of Robert Flack. Her father was born in Ireland, and about 1800 emigrated to this country, settling on Chartiers creek, in Peters township, Washington Co., Penn. To Joseph and Nancy (Flack) Townsend were born three children, viz.: Robert (deceased), Elijah T., and Margaret J. (Mrs. J. W. Boyer, of Finleyville). The father voted with the Democratic party, and in religion was a member of the Baptist Church. He died on his seventy-fifth birthday, March 1, 1871, being followed by his wife in August, 1874, in her seventy-fifth year.
Elijah T. Townsend, son of Joseph and Nancy (Flack) Townsend, was born December 23, 1836, on the farm in Peters township, Washington Co., Penn., which is now his home. He attended Beaver Academy and Allegheny College, in Meadville, Penn., and in 1858 was married to Nancy, daughter of Samuel Boyer, whose father was James. After his marriage Elijah T. Townsend remained on the home farm until the death of his father, when he took possession of the old place, which contains 135 acres of good land. He has been a very active member of the Democratic party, and, though they were then in the minority, was elected in 1878 as county commissioner. He served until 1882, and in 1884 was nominated by acclamation for treasurer of the county, but was defeated. He was a delegate to the State convention in 1882 and in 1892. He is a member and trustee of the Peters Creek Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend are the parents of three children, viz.: Anna M. (a graduate of Washington Seminary), married to David F. Templeton; Robert F. (at home), and Joseph B. (member of the sophomore class, Lehigh University).
Text taken from page 924 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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