Biography of James Townsend
Big River Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





James Townsend, Whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, September 10, 1830, and is the eldest son of James and Parthenia Townsend. Resided in Lowell until April 5, 1849, at which time he sailed from Boston in the ship Areatus, via Cape Horn, for California, arriving in San Francisco September 22d of that year; proceeded to the mines and engaged in mining, and followed it until December, 1851, with fair success. Spent the winter of that year at the Sandwich Islands, and returned to the State May, 1852, and engaged in the saw mill business in San Francisco (now San Mateo) county, near Woodside, as engineer for G. M. Burnham. The following year Mr. Burnham disposed of his interests to George W. Baker, of San Francisco, then Recorder. Townsend took the superintendence of the mill and business and erected another mill near. In 1854 he moved the original mill and run it on contract until April, 1855. In May following moved to Albion river, Mendocino county, and in November took the superintendence of the Albion Mill and agency for A. G. Dallas, under A. W. Macpherson. Was married at Albion December 17, 1859, to Miss Martha H. Milton, of Damariscotta, Maine. Their children are: James, born at Albion June 8, 1861; and Fred., born at Noyo May 19, 1862. He assumed charge of the Noyo Mill January 1, 1861, and moved his family there October 15, 1861. Resided there and had charge of the entire business of the Albion and Noyo Mills until January 15, 1871. Left Mendocino county August 18, 1875, and moved to Haywards, Alameda county, where his family now resides. He became associated with L. E. White, now of San Francisco, in the general merchandising business at Albion in September, 1861, under the firm name of L. E. White & Co., and with Mr. Fred. Brown at Noyo in the same business, October, 1861, under the name of Townsend & Brown, and with Carroll and others on the South Fork of Eel river, Humboldt county, same business July, 1869, under firm name of Townsend, Carroll & Co. In 1875 closed all business connections excepting with L. E. White & Co., and moved to Haywards. In May, 1876, returned to Mendocino county, and with Mr. L. E. White took controlling interest in the Salmon Creek Railroad Company. Built the road during 1876, the superintendence of which is his present business.

From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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