Samuel Asher Townsend



Samuel Asher Townsend, the owner of a fine farm on section 33 in Rush Township, is a son of George N. Townsend, for full history of whom see sketch of G. N. Townsend. Our subject was the third of a of family of thirteen children, and was born in Allegany County, N. Y., Oct. 16, 1834, and was but three years of age when his parents removed to Jo Daviess County, Ill. His father bought a farm in Rush Township, on which he built a homestead, and which is now the property of our subject. The latter received a common-school education and on the farm grew to sturdy manhood. Born and reared

upon a farm his attention has always been turned toward agricultural pursuits, and he adopted farming as a life-long vocation. Inheriting the home farm he engaged largely in stock-raising as well as in general agriculture. On his farm he usually keeps about 140 head of cattle, working about eight head of horses, and generally sells about 100 head of hogs annually. He owns in all about 535 acres of land, more than half of which is under a high state of cultivation, and he has proven himself an able, thorough, and shrewd practical farmer and stock-raiser, and as a result has been more than ordinarily succeesful (sic), as his fine fields well fenced, good buildings, and comfortable residence amply testify.

Mr. Townsend was married in Rush Township, March 15, 1855, to Miss Rebecca M. Borthwick, a daughter of James and Sarah (Geer) Borthwick, both natives of the State of New York and both early settlers of Jo Daviess County, where the remainder of their lives was spent. They, however, did not live long to enjoy their western home, as the mother lived but four years after coming here, dying in 1853; the father followed her to the grave four years later, dying in 1857. Of their family six daughters grew to maturity. Mrs. Townsend was the second in order of birth of these daughters and was born in the town of Allen, Allegany County, Dec. 4, 1833, and was in her sixteenth year when her parents emigrated to Illinois. The happy union of Mr. and Mrs. Townsend has been blessed to them by the birth of ten children, all of whom save one are now surviving. The following is the family record: The eldest son, William F., is married to Miss Sarah F. Renwick, resides in Rush Township, and has one son named George A., Eva C. is the wife of Milton Sheetz, a resident farmer of Stockton Township, and parents of one child, James A. Lettie M., is the wife of William Hicks, of Warren, Ill., and the mother of one child, Thomas A. Those of the family who are now under the parental roof are: Bertha, James B., Fannie G., Nancy L., Rebecca M., and Samuel A. 0ne child, Mittie L., died at the age of eight months. Among many prosperous and highly successful farmers of Rush Township, who have done so much to place it in the rank it occupies as one of the best agricultural sections of this region, none are rated more highly than the subject of this sketch. During his long residence here he has acquired and maintained the confidence and esteem of every resident of the Township, and his word is implicitly trusted by every person with whom he has ever had a business transaction. Though not in any sense of thc word an office-seeker, he has repeatedly been called upon by some of his fellow-citizens to serve them in some of the Township offices. Believing in the principles of the Republican party, he has ever given those principles a cordial and hearty support.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)