Genealogy of the Townsend Family, by Col. E. C. Townsend
As I am the last one living of the Samuel Townsend family of eight children I write this history thinking it is fairly correct. The family is old, even for an English one, tracing its ancester from the year 1275. The origional name was known as Woodville, who lived in London, England. One branch moved to a distant part of the city, who was known as the Woodville of the towns end. Gradually the Woodville name was dropped and became known as Townsend. The family is closely related to Lord Townsend of Rainham, Norfolk county, England, who was an ancestor of the greater part of the Townsends in America. At that time the old English family coat of arms represented a stag and hounds on either side of the shield supporting a crown and stag. The first Townsend who immigrated to America was Richard Townsend, who came in 1620 to Jamestown, Va. In 1634 Thomas Townsend, came to Lynn, Mass; in 1637 Wm. Townsend came to Boston, Mass; in 1644 Martin Townsend to Watertown, Mass; in 1682 Richard Townsend to Philadelphia; in 1712 Josep and John Townsend to Philadelphia; in 1686 John, Henry and Richmond Townsend to Oyster Bay, Long Island, N. Y., afterward settling in Duchess county, New Jersey. They were Quakers. My grandfather, Eber Townsend, was a son of Henry Townsend and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, as proved by the records in Washington. He was wounded and taken prisoner when the British capured New York City and was one of the soldiers the British intended to execute, had not Washington ordered the execution of two British prisoners for every one of the Americans so treated. Eber Townsend, my grandfather, died in 1826. His wife, my grandmother, whose maiden name was Sarah Drew, was a sister of Daniel Drew of New York City. Their parents came from Scotland and settled in Duchess county, New Jersey. She was a very large woman, weighing 240 pounds, and of dark complexion. Her second husband was Timothy James, a Presbyterian preacher. She lived to be 103 years old.
My father, Samuel Townsend, a son of Eber Townsend, was born in Duchess county, New Jersey, in 1783, was an American soldier in the war with Great Britain in 1812. He moved from New Jersey to Steuben county N. Y., in 1814. My mother, Sara Longwell's parents, went from Scotland to county Derry, Ireland, thence to America, settling in Duchess county, New Jersey. She was born in 1782 and died in Steuben county, N. Y., in 1821 leaving five sons and three daughters as follows:
Susan, married Robert King. Both dead and buried near Angelica, Alleghany county, N. Y., leaving eight children.
George N. Townsend married Mary Miner, both are dead, and buried in the cemetery on his old farm at Stockton, Ill., leaving twelve children.
Ira L. Townsend married Katherine DeLong. He died, it is supposed, on the Pacific Ocean, when returning from California in 1853. She died at Stockton, Ill.
Cynthia married L. Harris, both are dead and buried at Stockton, Ill.
A. A. Townsend married Mary Ann Ross, at Fayette county, Ind. His second wife was Almira Wells of Jefferson county, N. Y. They are dead and buried at Shullsburg, Wis., leaving six children.
H. S. Townsend married Hannah Carver of Harrisburg, Ind. Both are dead and buried at Warren, Ill., leaving eight children.
Almira married E. Carpenter, both are dead and buried at Warren, Ill.
Elijah C. Townsend married Fanny Wells of Three Mile Bay, Jefferson county, N. Y. She was born April 3, 1829, died Jan. 5, 1898, and was buried at Shullsburg, Wis., leaving two sons and five daughters.
We have two half sisters, one of whom, Mrs. Mills, is dead and buried at Montfort, Wis. The other, Mrs. Samuels, is still living at Montfort.
I am now in my 87th year and when I am called for will be buried at Shullsburg.
George, Ira and H. S. Townsend, settled near the present village of Stockton, Ill., in 1836. They were the first settlers and secured farms of several hundred acres each which are now occupied by their children.
I have carefully gathered this history and trust that it will meet the approbation of all interested.
Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Sept. 1, 1904.
From "Printed Sources and the Internet", by Martha J. Burke, in the column "The Townsend Genealogical Review", from The Townsend Newsletter, published by The Townsend Society of America, winter, 1998-99, pp. 8-10:
"The following is meant only as a warning. I have no reason to pick this example over dozens of others other than this one came across my desk again within the past month. Like others, it seems impossible to stamp it out. Old and inaccurate material is out and about. Research and checking will be the only solution if you really want your personal genealogy to be accurate.
"William S. Pelletreau in his HISTORY OF PUTNAM CO, NY lists Eber Townsend as a son of Charles Townsend of Dutchess Co., NY. Pelletreau gave Charles sons James, Elijah and Eber. Research has added Absalom and Charles, Jr. Absalom was a veteran of DuBois' Reg. and died shortly after the Rev. War. Letters of Administration were granted to his brother James and the bond was signed by Charles Sr., Charles, Jr. and James Townsend (Dutchess Co., NY record)
"Eber could not possibly have been a son of any of the Henry Townsends. None of the three brothers were ever in Dutchess Co., NY though many of their descendents [sic] were. The term 'Quaker' does not and never did apply to all of the L. I. Townsends. All who are reading this know that Dutchess Co. is in New York not New Jersey.
"Eber may have been in the Dutchess Co. Militia and there is a NY State Certificate of the Treasurer that states that an Eber Townsend served as a private in Capt. Mead's Co., Luddington's Reg. of Dutchess Co. Militia, Dutchess County, NY. Eber died before the Rev. War Pension Act was passed so there is no file on him in Washington, at least, none that anyone can find.
"Eber was born ca 1760 in Dutchess Co., NY, and he married Elizabeth Drew, b. ca 1765, dau of Gilbert Drew and Sarah (Hunt) of Dutchess Co. Gilbert Drew md. (2) Catherine (Muckleworth) Lawrence Gilbert Drew d. 26 March, 1812 aged 80 yrs. Catherine, the mother of Daniel and Thomas Drew, d. 13 Aug, 1842, 83 yrs 11 mo and 4 das. There are 16 graves in the Drew plot in Drew Clift Cem. S.E., Putnam Co., NY
"Catherine's headstone does state that she was the mother of Daniel and Thomas Drew. Therefore, Elizabeth (Drew) Townsend was a half sister to Daniel and Thomas.
"Gilbert Drew's will of 1810 calls his dau Elizabeth the wife of Eber Townsend. Land deeds in Sussex Co., NJ are also made out to Eber Townsend and Elizabeth, his wife. (Liber L. pg. 485)
"Nowhere does there seem to be reference to the 240 pound lady who lived to be 103 years old.
"Eber Townsend went as a young man to Hardiston, Vernon, Sussex Co., NJ and he never appeared on the Dutchess Co., NY census. He was not the only Townsend who removed to New Jersey, his brother Charles, Jr. having also gone to Sussex Co.
"Eber and Elizabeth (Drew) Townsend had at least two sons, Samuel, b. ca 1783 in Sussex Co., NJ and an older brother named Gilbert. b. ca 1780 in Sussex Co., NJ. Samuel md. Sarah Longwell and Gilbert md. Mary Saxon. There may have been some daus but no one ever recorded daughters.
"Eber Townsend appears only once on the 1820 Fed. census in Steuben Co., NY. Eber's sons Samuel and Gilbert both appear on the NY Off-Year Census of 1825 in Wheeler Twp., Steuben Co., NY. In 1830, only Gilbert remains on the census in Steuben Co., NY.
"Samuel Townsend md. Sarah (Sally) Longwell on 30th April, 1802. This wedding notice appeared in the POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL of 1 March, 1803 Eber Townsend d. 17 July, 1822, age 62 yrs. (b. ca 1760). Elizabeth (Drew) Townsend d. 14 April, 1841, aged 76 yrs. (ca. 1765). Both buried in the Drew Cem. Steuben Co., NY.
"A grave for Sarah (Longwell) Townsend has not been found. Col. Elijah said that she died in Steuben Co. ca. 1821. After her death Samuel took his family and moved westward and first settled near Stockton, IL. (Since Samuel is not on the 1830 NY Fed., Census he was probably gone before that date.)
"Samuel and Sarah (Longwell) Townsend had issue: Susan; George Nelson; Ira L.; Cynthia, Absalom A.; Halstead S.; Almira and Elijah C.
"Elijah C. does mention two half sisters but he failed to name Samuel's second wife and he completely leaves out Samuel's son Abram Godfrey Townsend by the second marriage.
"Samuel Townsend md. (2) Sarah Pence Hughes. Samuel d. 28 Dec., 1860, JoDavies Co., IL. By Sarah Pence Hughes, Samuel had two daus., _____Mrs. Miles and Mrs. _____Samuel. A son, Abram Godfrey Townsend, b. Centerville, WI on 4 April, 1838, d. 5 Sept., 1925 at Montfort, WI., md Julia Heller.
"Since mention was made above of Samuel's brother it is only fair to finish the family tree as we now know it. Gilbert Townsend and his wife Mary (Saxon) migrated to Blackford Co. IN where they both died. They named their children: Charles, Lydia, Ardelia, Gilbert, Jr., John, Lucy Ann, James S., Alvah, Elizabeth and Mary.
"Since 1907 this genealogy written by Col. Elijah C. Townsend has had an up and down fight on many fronts. Especially over the name of Eber's wife. It ended up in the DAR Records as Sarah Drew. Then new applicants would send in Gilbert Drew's will showing Elizabeth Drew as the wife of Eber Townsend. Still later, some creative soul who really wanted her DAR membership, changed Eber's wife's name to Sarah Elizabeth.
"Apparently noone ever thought of asking for a copy of DAR applications under the name of Drew. If someone had, it might have answered a lot of questions and avoided a lot of errors a long time ago.
"The next problem was regarding place. Whoever was reading the DAR applications knew that Dutchess Co. is in NY and notified the prospective member. Now knowing what to do, the following applications never mention New Jersey in any way.
"There are 5 DAR applications for Townsend and 6 Drew applications in my files. As early as 1918 applicants from Stockton, IL knew that Gilbert Drew's will and Col. Elijah's account did not match. In this early application, Vol. 9, Manuscript Records, NY State Library, Albany, NY is cited as the location of Eber Townsend's Rev. War pay receipt.
"None of the Townsend applicants made any effort to name the children of Eber Townsend.
"The first DAR application for Gilbert Drew is dated Oct., 1926. Sarah (Hunt) is given as his first wife and Catherine (Muckleworth) Lawrence as his second. This application gives the correct death date for Gilbert Drew and also the date of his will and probate. It also named his children:
"William, b. 1755, md. Jane Fowler Isaac, b. 1757, md Sarah Ferris, Hannah, b. 1758 Mary. b. 1759.
"Samuel, b. 1761, md. Mary Phillips. Elizabeth, b. 1763, md. Eber Townsend; Sarah, b. 1765; John, b. 1767; Gilbert, Jr. b. 1769, md. Susannah Washburne; Daniel, died young.
"By second wife: Thomas, b. 1795, md. Abigail Mead Daniel, b. 1797, md. Roxanna Mead.
"Drew Cem. SouthEast, Putnam Co., NY, Barbara S. Buys, OLDS TOMBSTONES OF PUTNAM CO., NY, Pg. 293. Catherine Lawrence, mother of Daniel and Thomas Drew. d. 13 Aug., 1842, 83-11-4, Daniel Drew (1797-1879); Roxanna, w/o Daniel (1799-1876); Thomas Drew (1793-1873); Abigail w/o Thomas (1796-1887); Gilbert Drew, d. 26 March, 1812. aged 80 yrs. The remaining stones are probably grandchildren of Gilbert.
"In the DAR applications there are a few helpful dates. George Nelson Townsend was b. 28 July, 1806, Vernon, Sussex Co., NJ and d. 4 Dec., 1893 at Stockton, IL. Wife: Mary Miner (1812-1890)
"Halstead S. Townsend. b. 11 April, 1814, near Bath, Steuben Co., NY, d. 4 June, 1901, Maryville, MO, Wife: Hannah Carver.
"I do not have any record for Ira L. Absalom or Elijah C. Townsend.
"It may be of interest that Gilbert Drew, Jr., b. 1769 also died at Vernon, Sussex Co., NJ on 11 July, 1855. Likewise his wife Elizabeth (Washburn.)
"No one is questioning the sincerity of Col. Elijah C. Townsend. His clues were better than no clues at all. Today however, these old printed sources are still out there and arc [sic] probably passing across your computer screen.
"It took NY Certificates of the Treasury, Gilbert Drew's probate and grave site, DAR applications for Drew and Townsend, grantee-grantor records for Vernon, Sussex Co., NH; photographs of Steuben Co., NY grave sites, census records for Steuben Co., NY, and old newspaper files for a wedding to get the genealogy on track. Nothing can compensate for on the site research. With that thought in mind the internet could be used to advance genealogy like never before in our history. It is the dusty old pages that haven't been touched in a century or two that hold the genealogical clues. Therefore, if each user of the web would spend a day or two in any courthouse or in any old newspaper file, etc. extracting whatever is found regarding the name Townsend and then putting that information on the web, genealogy would bloom."
Title: Obituary, Col. Elijah Carver Townsend: 1818-1913
Publisher: [Shullsburg? Wis.: s.n., 1913?]
Description: Book, 8p; 19 cm.
Location: Historical Society Library Pamphlet Collection
Call Number: 56-718
COL. ELIJAH CARVER TOWNSEND
p.1 As the bells rang forth their call to worship on Sunday morning, July 6, 1913, the spirit of Col. E. C. Townsend took its flight. His death came as a shock to his family, friends and the community of Shullsburg. On the Fourth, he had been in his usual health, and was seated on the speaker’s platform at the celebration. After the ceremonies, it was rumored that he had experienced a slight indisposition; but he appeared not seriously ill until the next day, and then not even his family expected a fatal termination. But it was otherwise divinely ordered; and on the Lord’s Day the sad news came that the oldest male citizen of south-western Wisconsin, the last of the pioneers and early settlers of this portion of our State, had ceased to be among the earthly living.
Col. Townsend was in many respects a remarkable man. He was born July, 14, 1818 in Steuben Co., New York. His father was Samuel Townsend, a Quaker, and yet a soldier in the War of 1812, and was born in Sussex Co., N. J. His grandfather was Elihu Townsend, a soldier in the Revolution, born in Sussex Co., N. J.; and his great-grandfather was Henry Townsend, born in Norfolk Co., Eng., who came to America ni 1636.
p.2 In 1825, Samuel and his five sons came to Olean Point, N. Y., shipped aboard a lumber raft and floated down the Alleghany river into the Ohio, to Cincinnati, and walked through to Springfield, Ill. In 1827, all save Elijah came to Gratiot’s Grove, Northwest Territory, and engaged in mining. In the early ‘30’s, it is said that Absalom Austin, the third son, went to Indiana, where Elijah, the youngest son, had been apprenticed, bought his time, and brought him to Gratiot’s Grove. Thus appeared on the scene, one whose historical knowledge at first hand of the development of our State has caused him to be sought after from near and from far.
The young Elijah was of exceedingly athletic build. Not so strong as his brother Absalom, whose power to lift it is said has never been equaled in this section, he was swifter of foot; and though engaged in many hundred-yard dashes, he is reported never to have been beaten, while having had competitors from as distant regions as Kentucky and the Isle of Man. During the time that he was light of weight, he also rode as jockey in horse races, achieving quite a fortune for a boy by his superior skill. And, still undert twenty-one, he carried the U. S. mail for a season, over the prairies and across the streams of Illinois, despite Indians and other perils, between offices of which Rock Island was one. When he came to rivers, he would tied the mail, which generally was light, above his horse’s head, drive him in, and following, steer him by his tail to the opposite bank.
As time went on, he engaged in mining, brick-making, smelting and farming. He is said, during the Civil War, to have purchased horses and mules for the Government. He traveled, on his business trips, through the southern
and eastern states and to Cuba. His prowess in a foot race in Kentucky, won him warm invitations to make his home in that state. At one time, he is said to have done the largest business in this section, having many employees. He numbered among his associates such men as Cols. Shull and Scales, John K. Williams, Jacob Haffale, Senator Earnest, Governor Dodge, Chief Justice Dunn, Frank Stone, Judges Blackstone and Knowlton, Henry Stevens, Charles Pole, John McNulty and Samuel Ricert. He was a member of the legislature in 1860 and 1861. He was a man of fire and energy.
And the Colonel was a man of superior mind. He used to say that he spent but three months in school, with Webster’s spelling-book for his only text, and for his companions a few white and Indian children. But he was ever learning. He had college graduates sometimes for his business intimates, and so profited by the association a sto become a man of cultivated powers. Amongst his papers are found over his signature compositions suggesting the qualities of his mind, selections from which were read at this funeral, as follows:
"To remember and practice what was good and generous in lives, is the most acceptable service we render to those who have been separated from the living and become partakers of a divine life."
"Death entered the quiet of his home unannounced, and his spirit (George Nelson Townsend, his brother, of Rush, Jo Daviess Co., Ill.) drifted away on the bosom of that dark and shadowy river that flows with resistless sweep into the shoreless sea."
"Life is a cumulation to be estimated, not by its individual incidents, but by their aggregate."
p.4 "In the final of all things, nothing remains but character."
"The tomb is silent, and gives forth no warning to the living; but there is still a small voice that whispers of a life beyond."
"When the chords of the heart are touched, our thoughts turn backward over the pathway of life, to gather the flowers strewn along its course. And the noble acts and sweet charities of a good life, are tranformed into rays of living light, illiminating before the freed spirit, the pathway to the realms of the infinite and the immortal."
"Be Kind To The Man Who Is Down."
"When a brother goes wrong, and is lost under the throng,
And is passed by, by ‘the good’ of your town,
Just lend him a hand, and help him to stand.
Be kind to the man when he’s down.
"Has he lost friend and home, a sad change to come,
And met with rebuff and a frown?
Then come to his aid. Do not be afraid
To be kind to a man when he’s down.
"There’s rejoicing above for a soul won by love,
And a bright star will shine in your crown,
If a hand you have lent to a life almost spent.
O! Be kind to the man who is down.
"Forgive and forget; for there’s good in him yet,
Though he drinks, hoping sorrow to drown.
Just lend him a hand, and help him to stand:
Be kind to a man when he’s down."
p.5 The Colonel was a Free Mason. He was proud to be counted a member of that great Order. He was initiated May 12, 1852, passed May 13, 1852, and raised May 15, 1851. Amicitia Lodge, No. 25, to which he belonged, with visitors from neighboring lodges, at his request, attended in regalia at his funeral, accompanied his remains to the place of interment, and deposited them there with the usual formalities.
In 1839 he married Mary Ann Sackett, who came from New York. She died about a year later in childbirth. In 1846, he was united to Fanny Wells, daughter of Seldon Wells of Jefferson Co., N. Y., who came to Jo Daviess Co., Ill. With a sister and uncle in 1843. To them were born two sons and five daughters, two of whom are deceased. At the time of his death he had living five children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Only a few days before he passed away, he visited Madison. The governor and legislature gave him an enthusiastic greeting. The two houses met in joint session to listen to his words. And such was the vigor of address that the listeners were astonished and delighted. His speech was spread upon the records of both houses. James Dolan of Platteville, a member of the Assembly, telegraphed the Colonel's daughter when he heard the sad news of his death: "It was the unanimous opinion of the members at Madison that he was the most remarkable man they ever met." Probably not half a dozen times in the history of America has any man, within a few days of the age of ninety-five years, had the mental and physical power to speak as did the Colonel to Wisconsin's executive and law-makers.
p.6 Col. Townsend was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment, Second Brigade of the Second Division of Wisconsin Militia, embracing the geographical limits of Lafayette County, on the twentieth day of September, 1852, by Governor Leonard J. Farwell, whose signature with that of Charles D. Robinson, Secretary of State, and the Great Seal of the State, is upon his commission.
The funeral of Col. Townsend took place on Wednesday, July 9, at 2 P. M., in the Congregational church, at which he had been an attendant from its foundation. The services were conducted by Rev. Wm. M. Weeks, the pastor, assisted by Pastor Cooper of the Methodist Episcopal church. The building could hold but a fraction of the number who attended. His body was laid away, as he had ever wished, beside those of his wife and daughters, in Evergree Cemetery; while his spirit joined theirs in that cloud of witnesses," who, the Apostle implies, are not indifferent to the welfare of their loved ones left behind, but look with sympathizing and helping eyes upon them as the "run with patience the race set before them." Aye! Look on us, Colonel; and as you enjoy your new labors, with old friends reunited, give us your Godspeed while we struggle toward our goal.
The Colonel was tenderly cared for in his declining years by his daughter, Miss Cora Idell Townsend, and his son, Mr. Charles Absalom Townsend.
Two men survive that were with him in the legislature, Charles Caverno of Lombard, Ill., and John G. Clark of Lancaster, Wis. Mr. Caverno writes: "So
the old veteran in Wisconsin history is gone! It was a wonderfully long and active life he lived—a good record he made. **** I hope emotions of joy and pride will come in upon your sorrow today."
John G. Clark says: "Our friend must have observed the laws of God, or he could not have weathered the storms of so many years. Let us expect to meet him in the haven beyond."
Governor Francis E. McGovern writes: "While it was yet a territory, the Colonel became interested in the political and business activities of our State, and his interest never relaxed until the last scene in his long and eventful career closed. A life remarkable for its length, vigor and usefulness has ended; but the encouraging words, kindly acts and public spirited enterprises of Col. Townsend will continue to bear fruit in many regions and for many years. The State of Wisconsin owes a debt of deep gratitude to such men as Colonel Townsend, who endured the hardships of pioneer life and shaped the political, industrial and educational policy of our commonwealth. Kindly extend my heartfelt sympathies to the relatives, friends and neighbors of the deceased in the loss they have sustained."
About fifty relatives came from abroad to the obsequies. A prominent figure in our community has been removed. The streets of Shullsburg will miss him. But his kindly aged presence has been changed to youth’s energy in his new life above. Farewell, Colonel! Greet us when we come to you.
"Take him for all in all,
"I shall not look upon his like again."
COL. TOWNSEND’S FAMILY.
COL. ELIJAH CARVER TOWNSEND.
Wives: Mary Ann Sackett, 1839-1840.
Fanny Wells, 1846-1898.
Children Grandchildren Great-grand-children
I Emily Roy (deceased)
Edward Elijah Marjorie
Lorena Clare Miller
II Louis Napoleon Almeda Octavia Hammond Marion
III Charles Absalom
IV Anna Laura Knowlton
V Josephine Oliver Evelyn Simmons
(deceased) Genevieve Gardner Sidney
VI Ida May Perkins Ida Helena
(deceased) Fanny Wells
VII Cora Idell
From The Sesquicentennial History of Shullsburg 1827-1977, compiled and published by the Badger Historical Society of Shullsburg, Inc., 1977 (2nd printing, 1983), pp. 29-31:
Address of Col. E. C. Townsend
Address of Col. E. C. Townsend of Shullsburg, Wisconsin, given in the assembly chamber Tuesday evening, June 17, 1913. The assembly being in session, Speaker Hull invited Col. Townsend to the speaker's desk.
Speaker Hull: "We have the honor as well as the pleasure in having with us this evening a man who is among the first settlers in Wisconsin, coming to this state in 1827. Furthermore a gentleman who sat in the First legislative assembly as a visitor at Belmont i n1836, and a man who was later in 1860 and 1861 a member of the Wisconsin assembly. He is now 95 years of age and I am sure every member here would greatly appreciate a speech from Col. Townsend, who will address the assembly for a few moments.
Col. Townsend: "Gentlemen of the assembly:--I am really surprised to be called upon to address you this evening. I never was an orator. I cam to this country on the 10th day of May 1827. I went to school at Galena, Ill. in 1830 and graduated with a class of 14 white children and nine half-breed children of Indians, and finished Noah Webster's old spelling book. And that was my education.
"I associated with men of high education afterwards. I kept bachelor's hall with Major Cowan, a graduate of Yale College. He was afterwards killed at Vicksburg. I was in the Winnebago and Blackhawk Wars. At that time there wasn't a house on the east side of the river in Dubuque. Julian Dubugue [sic] lived on a bluff about a mile below during his lifetime. He passed away in 1810.
"I am the oldest settler living in the states of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. I was first in the legislature in 1860, and reelected in 1861, and was recalled to vote on an appropriation bill for the civil war in 1862. Henry L. Palmer's desk was 77 and mine was 76, and a finer man I never sat beside than henry Palmer. He was afterwards the president of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Milwaukee. I held all the local offices in my county prior to my coming to the legislature. When I came to the legislature in 1860 I spoke to Senator Earnest to select a room for me at Madison. He spoke for the finest room in the city of Madison in the Capitol house at $17.50 a week. We had a different way than now. I took my oath of office and went over to my -- asked the clerk if I had a good room and he said I had the best room in Wisconsin.
"Judge Dunn was the first chief justice of the territory of Wisconsin. He organized a court and held office from that time until the state was admitted to the union twelve years later. The first court was held at old Belmont in 1836 and next at Burlington, Iowa, and then at Madison in 1838.
"Judge Dunn and myself were always the best of friends. We always hunted together each fall upon the Wisconsin river.
"Three of four days after I first came to the legislature, Judge Dunn came up to Madison and invited E. G. Ryan, Matt Carpenter, Governor Randall and all the leading lawyers of the state to come over to my room to give me an ovation. A number of them who felt so inclined, played cards and had a few mint-juleps and remained with me all night. We had a broiled supper at 2 o'clock in the morning. As Judge Ryan left in the morning he shook hands with me and says, 'Colonel, we know you would not introduce a bill unless it was right and we will pass every one that you introduce.'
"Judge Dunn came to me after they had all left and wanted to pay part of the bill, but I would not stand for it. I told him I had never paid his bills and he should not pay mine.
"I went down to the clerk to settle up and he said that Judge Dunn said Col. Townsend was his old friend and one of the greatest men in the southern part of the state, and that he would be reasonable with me, and for that reason had thrown of $25.00 and I then paid him $98.00. Judge Dunn said that the reason he invited these guests was that he wished to get me acquainted with the legal fraternity of the state, and I was glad too that he brought them. in those days we got $2.50 a day salary as a member of the Legislature.
"A few days after this, Tom Marshall of Kentucky, the world's greatest orator, and George D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville Courier Journal, visited Madison in a tour of the northern states. Prentice occupied a bed in my room and Tom Marshall one in an adjacent room. Tom Marshall was six feet and two inches in height and weighed over 300 pounds. He made a speech while in Madison that was the best I ever heard. He seemed to do better when he had a little bourbon. Once while he was making a speech in Buffalo, N.Y., he was praising the beauties of liberty and every sentence flowed from his mouth as beautiful as the marble from a sculptor's block and some opponent of his in the crowd would say: 'Louder, Marshall, louder.' He turned to the chairman and said, 'Mr. Chairman, in the last and final day of this, our mortal life, when the angel Gabriel shall take his departure from the blue dome of heaven and has one foot upon the land and the other upon the sea, he shall lift to his mouth a golden trumpet and proclaim to the world that it shall be no more. Through the gushing melodies of the angelic choir he here shall announce that the days of immortality are at hand, and the souls of men shall rise from the tomb, and no doubt some damn fool from Buffalo shall cry, 'Louder, Gabriel, louder!'
"In the morning Prentice said to me, 'Tom had given all his money away. Here is $10.00 Put him on the 2 o'clock train and send him to Milwaukee.' And I went to the train with him and started him to Milwaukee.
"We had some great men in those days and I think the legal fraternity that I met at that time was the greatest the state has ever had.
"I attended the first legislature at old Belmont in 1836 and remained two days and I am the only man living that attended that session.
"Now I will tell; I do not want to try to make a speech here but I do want to tell you about old Jesse W. Shull. He was born in Philadelphia in 1785 and was employed John Jacob Astor in 1816 to open a trading post at Prairie du Chien and then in Michigan Territory. In 1818 he moved his stock to Dubuque, Iowa, and in 1819 to Galena, Ill. and then opened a trading post with the indians who were engaged then in mining at Badger Point, from which the state derived the name of 'Badger State.' This point lies within the present site of Shullsburg which was named after Jesse W. Shull.
"A. P. Van Meter, his brother-in-law, and himself obtained a grant known as the Shull and Van Meter survey, which they transferred to Henry Beon Gratiot in 1828, which is now the site of the City of Shullsburg.
"Shull built his first house in old Shullsburg in 1823. In 1826 A. P. Van Meter returned to the old Ohio home and gave such glowing accounts of the western territory that John Van Meter, Louis Van Meter and Elisa Van Meter returned to Old Shullsburg, it being the first wedding which occurred at Southwestern Wisconsin.
"I am speaking of the early days. Wisconsin is a great agricultural district aside from its mineral resources, and the Switzers of Green County have made it the first cheese state of the Union, and I have put that in my poem which I wish to recite to you. I thank you very much for listening to me these few minutes.
"We had come together at Darlington, Wis., for a homecoming when I was 91 years of age, and I thought I would write a poem on that occasion."
(written by Col. E. C. Townsend, when he was 91 years of age and read by him at homecoming at Darlington, Wisconsin in 1908)
The sun never shone on a country more fair,
Than beautiful, peerless Wisconsin.
There is life in the kiss of her rarified air;
Wisconsin, O lovely Wisconsin.
Her sons are all valiant and noble and bright,
Her beautiful daughters are just about right--
Her babies--God bless them--are clear but out of sight--
That crop never fails in Wisconsin.
The old Mississippi flows grandly along
By this garden of Eden--Wisconsin
There the dark Indian maid sang her loved woodland song;
Wisconsin, O lovely Wisconsin.
In southern Wisconsin lies the County of Green;
A more beautiful country scarce was seen.
There Switzers make cheese of the richest of cream,
Three cheers for the cheese of Wisconsin.
Her homes are alight with the halo of love
Wisconsin, contented Wisconsin.
She basks in the smiles of a heaven above,
No clouds ever darken Wisconsin.
Her grain waves as billows of gold in the sun,
Her mines are the richest, exceeded by none.
Her dairying interests the best under the sun,
We challenge the world with Wisconsin.
The girls are sweet models of maidenly grace,
In this modern Eden, Wisconsin;
They are perfect of figure and lovely of face--
That's just what they are in Wisconsin.
There are smiles so enticing, winning and sweet,
Their dresses are stylish, yet modest and neat;
They wear the best shoes on their dear little feet,
That's just what they wear in Wisconsin.
When life's weary burden I'm called to lay down,
I wish I may be in Wisconsin;
I never could ask for a more glorious crown
Then [sic] one of the sods of Wisconsin.
And when the last trump wakes the land and the sea,
And tombs of the earth let their prisoners go free,
You may all go aloft if you choose, but for me,
But I think I'll just stay in Wisconsin.
(The author of this poem came to Wisconsin May 10, 1827, when ten years old and has lived in Lafayette County over 81 years. Col. E. C. Townsend died in Shullsbrg, [sic] Wisconsin, on July 6, 1913, just 19 days after delivering the above address to the state assembly. He was within eight days of celebrating his 95th birthday anniversary)