Biography of John Townsend
Erie County, NY Biographies


Townsend, John R., Grand Island, the well known farmer and for many years manager of the large stock farm owned by the late Hon. E. G. Spalding, of Buffalo, was born in Stoverville, Canada, May 16, 1857, the second of three sons and two daughters born to Edwin and Mary (Ray) Townsend, natives of England. Edwin was a lifelong gardener and farmer. He came to the United States in 1852, coming direct to Black Rock, where a few years later he was married and moved to Grand Island. He spent the years 1856 and 1857 in Canada, returning to Grand Island where he conducted a portion of the large Allen farm for six years. From 1864 to 1868 he was at Cold Springs, Buffalo, and in 1868 accepted the management for the Falconwood Club, and under his experienced supervision the club house was erected and the elegant grounds laid out and fitted on the west shore of Grand Island. He remained in charge of the Falconwood club house and grounds for fourteen years, when he purchased the farm adjoining, now known as Cottage Grove, fronting on the west division of the Niagara River, erecting a house and cottages for the purpose of leasing to summer residents. He was actively identified with the Republican party on the Island and filled the office of assessor and other minor offices. He died in 1884; his wife survives him and resides on the Cottoge Grove farm. John R. Townsend remained with his father until 1876 and attended the common schools. He then accepted the management of the River Lawn farm of 365 acres, for the Hon. E. G. Spalding. in Grand Island, on which for many years under the good management of Mr. Townsend they have made a specialty of breeding Holstein cattle. As manager of this farm Mr. Townsend still officiates. In politics he is a Republican, but always too busy with his farm duties to be an aspirant to public office. In 1880 he married Hattie E. Naldrett of Alden, N. Y., and their children are Elbridge S., John N. and Grace. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend are members of the Congregational church of Grand Island, of which Mr. Townsend is one of the trustees; he is also a member of the Farmers' Alliance. Mrs. Townsend is a member of the Maccabees and of the Ladies' Aid Society.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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