Asa Townsend (1795 - 1876)

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Place of Burial: Colorado, TX, USA
Birthplace: Marlboro, SC, USA
Death: Died in Colorado, TX, USA
Occupation: Florida State Militia-Seminole Indian Wars, Company E First Regt Texas Mounted Riflemen - Mexican War,Cattleman, Civil Leader
Managed by: Lizzie Keitel
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Asa Townsend

TOWNSEND, ASA (1795-1876). Asa Townsend, cattleman and civic leader, was born on December 14, 1795, in Marlboro District, South Carolina, the oldest of eight sons of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stapleton) Townsend, all of whom eventually settled in Texas. He went to Georgia as a young man and there was married to Rebecca Harper. Some twenty years later the couple moved to Florida, and from there Townsend moved his wife and nine children to Texas; they traveled in the fall of 1837 by water to New Orleans and in the spring of 1838 by oxcart to the vicinity of Columbus. In 1840 Townsend held title to 555 acres of land in Colorado County, and his personal estate included twenty cattle and five slaves. On October 7, 1845, he received title to an additional 640 acres near Borden. In Columbus on April 19, 1845, he served on the committee that drafted the preamble and resolution for the annexation of Texas to the United States. In 1846 Townsend served a term as Colorado County Coroner. That summer he enlisted as a private in Company E, First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen, for service in the Mexican War; he received his discharge on September 21, 1846. He was among the ten members of the Colorado Navigation Association and a member of the board of directors when it met on October 15, 1849, in Matagorda to hear reports from F. W. Grassmeyer and A. Carter on the work of clearing the Colorado of a raft of debris to make the river navigable through Wharton and Matagorda counties. Townsend was active in the proceedings and organization of Masonic lodges in the late 1840s in Waco, La Grange, Round Rock, and Columbus. By 1860 his estate was valued at $30,000, and he was recognized as one of the most prominent cattle raisers in the county. He died at the home of his son, H. S. Townsend, on September 22 or 27, 1876, and was buried near Borden.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). Columbus Citizen, October 12, 1876. Telegraph and Texas Register, May 7, 1845. Texas State Gazette, November 3, 1849. By Walker A. Lea, Jr. Handbook of Texas Online, "Townsend, Asa," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/TT/fto31.html (accessed November 10, 2006).

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Asa Townsend:

Died at the house of his son, Mr. H. S. Townsend, on the 27th September; Mr. Asa Townsend in the 81st year of his age. The deceased was born in Marlboro District, South Carolina on the 14th December, 1795. In his early manhood he removed to Georgia, where he married and lived for about twenty years. From Georgia he went to and remained for a short time in Madison, Florida, and from thence with a devoted wife and 9 children he came to Texas in the fall of 1837, and settled in Columbus in the spring of 1838, where or in its vicinity he has resided ever since. His children here increased. Twelve of whom, 8 boys and 4 girls, lived to be settled with families of their own. He buried the wife of his youth, and mother of his children in 1859. He afterwards married a second time, and has left a widow to mourn his loss. His descendants at his death numbered 81, just the number of his years. Uncle Asa, as he was generally and familiarly called, brought to our State "a sound mind in a sound body." A man of great energy, industry and capacity, (qualities that have descended to his numerous progeny,) he has left his mark upon society for good such as few have been permitted to rival. To those who remembered his massive frame and Herculean strength, it was sad to see him as he passed among us under the weight of his four score years, leaning upon his staff and tottering to his tomb. But it is written "dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return," and we are traveling on. In early life Uncle Asa dedicated himself to God, and the good and at the altars of the church, contracted an alliance with Heaven. Through the vicissitudes of an eventful life often unfavorable to the development of Christian character, he was true and faithful, and at the last found that he had not followed a cunningly devised fable. But that God whom he had served and trusted sustained and cheered him in his age and infirmity, and gave him a safe and triumphant passage across the dark river. An incident, uncommon and beautiful, occurred a day or two before his death. The day was warm, and the door and window was open, he was lying upon his couch, quiet and peaceful, his wife and daughter sitting by, when a dove of full and beautiful plumage came through the door, and hovering over him, settled down upon his bosom, and without apparent alarm, fluttered its wings. His wife reached out a hand to take the bird, but forbore at the suggestion of the daughter. It again fluttered its wings, and after two or three times turning slowly around, it rose and went out at the window. The last conversation he had just prior to his death, was with two daughters who had died years ago, desiring them to come to him, and speaking to them as though they were bodily present and visible to him and who will affirm they were there. Uncle Asa was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge, at Columbus, respected and believed by his brethren; and they with the assistance of the Lodges at Weimar and Osage, with the beautiful and impressive ceremony of that order, laid him away, in the presence of a large assemblage of friends and acquaintances, with his former wife, with trust in God and faith in immortality. [Internent in Borden Cemetery]

Colorado County Citizen, October 12, 1876, Pg. 3

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Asa Townsend was an active Mason and during the 1840s he was instrumental in the organization of Masonic lodges in the towns of LaGrange, Round Rock, Columbus and Waco, Texas.

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Asa Townsend's Timeline

1795
December 11, 1795
Marlboro, SC, USA
1826
1826
Age 30
GA, USA
1826
Age 30
McIntosh, GA, USA
1828
August 12, 1828
Age 32
GA, USA
1830
October 23, 1830
Age 34
Jefferson, FL, USA
1832
November 8, 1832
Age 36
Jefferson, FL, USA