H. S. Townsend, member of the firm of Baird & Townsend, Marble & Granite Works, of Warrensburg, Missouri, was born March 17, 1857 in Andrew county, Missouri. He is the son of Jonathan and Kittie Ann (Landers) Townsend, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Missouri. Jonathan Townsend was born June 17, 1827, and when 18 years of age came to Missouri from Indiana. He located in Andrew county when St. Joseph had but one store, which was conducted by a Frenchman named Rubidoux [sic], who traded with the Indians. Jonathan Townsend settled on a farm near Savannah and there spent the remainder of his life. To Jonathan and Kittie Townsend were born the following children: W. B., Whitesville, Mo.; F. M., Whitesville, Mo.; James S., Bolckow, Mo.; E. E., Savannah, Mo.; Mrs. John Roe, Savannah, Mo.; Mrs. Louisa J. Todd, who died in 1891; and H. S., the subject of this review. Mrs. Townsend died in 1861. Jonathan Townsend's death occurred at the age of 90 years in Savannah, which had been his home for 20 years. Prior to moving to Savannah he had lived on his farm near that place 52 years. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend lived in the first home which he built for 52 years and in the 72 years they lived in but two different homes. The remains of both father and mother were interred in the cemetery at Savannah, Mo. The father served in the State Militia under Capt. D. C. Stotts during the Civil War. H. S. Townsend received his early education in the public schools of Andrew county, Mo. He later attended Lagrange College, Lagrange, Mo., for three years. Mr. Townsend entered the teaching profession after leaving college and for 15 years was engaged in teaching during the winter and farming in the summer time. Twenty-three years ago, in 1894, Mr. Townsend came to Warrensburg, and entered the dairy business. Fifteen years ago he went into partnership with J. B. Baird in the marble and granite business and in farming and stock raising. Baird & Townsend, Marble & Granite Works, are successors of the Farley Brothers. Four years ago they moved to their present location on East Pine street, where they have two display rooms, 24 x 118 and 24 x 30 feet in dimensions respectively. The firm employs 3 traveling salesmen and has an extensive business all over the state of Missouri and extending into adjoining states. Frequently carloads of stone are shipped to a single point in the state. They import granite and marble in the rough from quarries in Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, besides obtaining some foreign shipments. This firm has undoubtedly the finest stock on hand of any company in western Missouri. Mr. Townsend is well known through out the state and is universally esteemed, possessing a pleasing personality which has won for him scores of friends. In addition to the granite and marble business, the firm is also engaged in farming and stock raising, owning a splendid stock farm ten miles south of Warrensburg. This farm comprises 169 acres and is devoted to dairy stock. In 1880, H. S. Townsend was united in marriage with Florence I. Clark, daughter of Silas and Marguerite Clark, of Andrew county, Missouri. Both parents of Mrs. Townsend are now deceased. To H. S. and Florence I. (Clark) Townsend have been born two children: Glenn, an only son, who died at the age of 13 months, who is interred in the cemetery at Warrensburg; and Nellie Grace, who is the wife of Harley Hoar, of Warrensburg. Mrs. Townsend is president of the Johnson County Women's Christian Temperance Union and has held this office for the past five years. She was elected delegate to the national meeting of the Women's Christian Temperance Union held at Seattle, Washington at the State meeting in 1915, but on account of illness was unable to attend. Mr. Townsend is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America, of which lodge he has been one of the officers in Warrensburg for many years, and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he has been a member for the past ten years. He has been a deacon in the Baptist church for 12 years and superintendent of the Sunday School four years.
Source: History of Johnson County, Missouri, by Ewing Cockrell, 1918
Submitted: Monica Schirmer Eshelman