Biography of Clayton C. Townes
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

CLAYTON C. TOWNES, president of the Cleveland City Council, entered that body before he was admitted to the bar. He has been a leader in civic affairs and republican politics, and enjoys an exceptionally high position in the Cleveland bar.

Mr. Townes was born January 30, 1887, in the old Poe home, which is his present residence, at 3800 West Thirty third Street. His parents were William C. and Kate (Hoyt) Townes, both representing old families of Cleveland. His father, born on the West Side of Cleveland, was a well known and highly respected citizen of that section, and at the time of his death in 1910 was serving as a member of the city council. Mr. Townes' mother was also born on the West Side, daughter of Daniel Hoyt.

A liberal education preceded Mr. Townes' public and professional career. He attended the graded and high schools of Cleveland, spent one year in Adelbert College, and graduated with the Bachelor of Laws degree from Western Reserve University in 1911. He was admitted to the barthe same year and began practice in partnership with Milton C. Portman. The firm of Townes & Portman continues to enjoy an extensive practice, with offices in the Cleveland Discount Building.

In February, 1911, before his admission to the bar Mr. Townes was elected to fill the unexpired term of his father in the city council, representing the Sixth Ward. With the exception of one term, he has represented this ward in the council ever since. In 1920 he was elected president and was reelected to that important post in1922. When he entered the council he was the youngest man who had ever been chosen to that body, and in point of length of service he is now the oldest member of the city government.

Among the younger generation Mr. Townes is one of the outstanding figures in the republican party of Cleveland. For the past ten years he has served as a delegate to various city, county, district and state conventions. In 1920 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention and one of the active supporters of Mr. Harding for President. He served twelve years as a member of the Republican Executive Committee of Cuyahoga County, and was secretary of the committee during the Hughes campaign in 1916. Mr. Townes is affiliated with Brooklyn Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Forest City Commanderv, Knights Templar, Al Koran Temple of the Mystic Shrine, Glenn Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Brooklyn Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. His clubs are the University, Cleveland Athletic and West Wood Country. He is a member of the Cleveland Bar Association and the Cleveland Chamber of. Commerce.

Mr. Townes married Miss Grace Dix, daughter of John C. Dix, a well known citizen of the South Side, superintendent of the Riverside Cemetery. The three daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Townes are Jean, Betsey and Rachel.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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