Historical records matching Everett Ewing Townsend
About Everett Ewing Townsend
"Father of the Big Bend National Park"
Everett Ewing Townsend, called the "father of the Big Bend National Park," was born on October 20, 1871, in Colorado County, the son of William Wallace and Margaret (Long) Townsend. At the age of nineteen he joined the Texas Rangers and was appointed deputy United States marshal at twenty-two. In May 1894 he was appointed a United States customs mounted inspector. While in the ranger service in 1900, he assumed charge of a 200,000-acre unimproved and unstocked ranch in Pecos County. After sixteen years it was fully improved, with 14,000 cattle. In 1918 he was elected sheriff of Brewster County, the largest county in the nation. He served three terms, but refused a fourth term. Townsend was an earnest advocate of friendly relations with Mexico. He was one of the founders of the Sul Ross College Museum, and for several years he served as its curator. In 1932 he was elected representative to the Forty-third Texas Legislature and, with Representative Robert M. Wagstaff, coauthored the first bill to make the Big Bend area a state park. As a result, 150,000 acres of land were set aside for park purposes. Townsend interested the National Park Service in the idea of a national park there, the establishment of the Big Bend Park Association, and the purchase of the land. On September 5, 1943, he witnessed a ceremony at Sul Ross State College at Alpine, where Governor Coke R. Stevenson of Texas signed the deed to the United States government, transferring 750,000 acres of the Big Bend country to the National Park Service. Townsend's first wife, Alice A. (Jones) Townsend, died on May 26, 1940; they had one daughter. He married Ada Blocker of Austin in 1942. Townsend died on November 19, 1948.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Clifford B. Casey and Lewis H. Saxton, The Life of Everett Ewing Townsend (West Texas Historical and Scientific Society Publication 17, 1958). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Everett E. Townsend
By: Frank W. Daugherty
Born in 1871 in Colorado County, Texas, was the son of Captain William Wallace Townsend, a Civil War Veteran. In 1891 he became a private in Company E of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers. In 1893 he was appointed Deputy U. S. Marshal and served in this service as a mounted inspector in the Big Bend. Mr Townsend married Miss Alice Jones in 1895. he continued as a Customs Inspector until 1898 to once again became a Texas Ranger. Townsend left the Texas Rangers in 1900 to manage the large Elsinore Cattle Company Ranch between Alpine and Ft. Stockton.In 1916 Mr. Townsend moved to Alpine and was elected Sheriff of Brewster County in 1918. He served in this office until 1924 and for the following eight years devoted himself to business and civic matters in alpine the county.In 1932 he elected as a Representative to the Texas Legislature. In the following year, he introduced a bill which created the "Texas Canyons State Park". During the next ten years Mr. Townsend sought to have this State Park incorporated ito the National Park Service, and this become a reality in 1943. Mr Townsend is rightfully known as the "Father of Big Bend National Park" and his interest in the development of the park continued until his death in 1948.
National Park Service, Big Bend National Park: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/historyculture/eetownsend.htm