Spencer Burton Townsend

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Spencer Burton Townsend

Birthdate: (45)
Birthplace: Marlboro, SC, USA
Death: December 12, 1857 (45)
Weimar, Colorado, TX, USA
Place of Burial: Lavaca, TX, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas E. Townsend and Mary Elizabeth Townsend (Stapleton)
Husband of Louisa H. Townsend
Father of Keron Blanche Reese; James Gaither Townsend and Louise Florida Clements
Brother of Asa Townsend; Thomas Roderick Townsend; Capt. Stephen Townsend; Mary "Polly" Elizabeth Middleton; Elizabeth Stapleton Turnbow and 4 others

Occupation: Battle of San Jacinto
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Spencer Burton Townsend

One of the early Indian fighters and was later a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto (21st April 1836) where he lost the small finger of his right hand.



Born in Florida, April 14, 1812, a son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Stapleton) Townsend. He came to Texas sometime between May 2, 1835 and March 2, 1836. In the Headright Certificate issued to him January 23, 1838 for one-third of a league of land from the Board of Land Commissioners of Colorado County it is simply stated that he arrived prior to March 2, 1836. Had he arrived before May 2, 1835 this would have been stated in the certificate. Mr. Burton and his brother Stephen appeared before the Colorado Board on the same day. Stephen Townsend stated that he arrived in Texas in 1833. Spencer said that he had arrived prior to March 2, 1836.

Mr. Townsend was a member of Captain William H. Smith's Company of Cavalry at San Jacinto and on July 28, 1851 was issued Donation Certificate No. 352 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On July 28, 1851 he received Bounty Certificate No 902 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from February 1 to May 12, 1836. This he assigned July 28, 1851, while living in Fayette County, to Stephen Townsend. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 84 it is stated that he enlisted in Captain Stephen Townsend's Ranger Company February 1, 1836.

Mr. Townsend was married to Louisa H. Dillard, who was born in Tennessee in 1820 and died in Texas, November 11, 1889. She is buried in Weimar. Mrs. Townsend was a Baptist; her husband a Methodist. Mr. Townsend was a Mason, first joining the order at La Grange. He died near Oakland, Colorado County, Texas December 13, 1857 and is buried in the old Shiloh Cemetery near there. His grave is lost.

Ten Children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Townsend, three of whom died in infancy. The others were Spencer Burton, who married Mrs. Mary Jane Reese Bonner; Jane Elizabeth, who married to Hiram Brown of Galveston; Louisa, who married to Gus Clements; James; Mary Lucretia, who married William Dudley; Minerva Ann Augusta, who married to John Henry Watts; and Keetie Blanche Townsend, who was born August 4, 1858, and married Sam Houston Reese, March 16, 1899.

TOWNSEND, SPENCER -- "At a Special Term of the District Court holden in and for the County of Colorado on the Thirteenth day of August 1838, for the trial of


upon a charge of shooting and dangerously wounding the body of


Present J. W. Robinson, Judge of the District Court.

Court opened according to law; the Jurors were called and there being no Prosecuting Attorney Court Adjourned until tomorrow at Ten o'clock.

Records do not seem to show that this case ever came to trial as the Prosecuting Attorney evidently failed to show up. John H. Beal was the missing attorney.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952.

Source: http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Herzstein_Library/Veteran_Biographies/San_Jacinto_Bios/biographies/default.asp?action=bio&id=3655

"Round Top in Northwest Fayette County located on Cummins Creek, is one of the oldest communities, the home of many heroes whose names are written on the history books of the Republic of Texas. Not far to the south in the rich bottom lands is the historical area that Stephen F. Austin settled with his first colony of the original Three Hundred Pioneers.

"To this section came Thomas Roderick Townsend and his brother, Spencer Burton Townsend in 1826. The two brothers rode on horseback from Florida. They, too, were seeking land in the West. They returned to Florida for their families. Thomas R. Townswend received his Spanish grant (headright) in Houston County in 1834, but his brothers, Stephen, Moses, William T. and two cousins, William P. and John Townsend (Windale) of South Carolina all received land grants in Fayatte County. Other relatives in the area were Sion Bostick, Joel Robison, the Cummins, Gouchers and Gaither families.

"The community was called "Townsend" but with the many names of early settler it sounds like a roll call of the heroes of the republic. Seven members of the Townsend family for which "Townsend" was named were early Texas Rangers and soldiers of the Army of Texas."

source: p. 272, The Seven Townsend Brothers of Texas 1826-1838, by Tula Townsend Wyatt. 1974.

Texas Historical Markers

Round Top

Public Square, Washington Street

On the Old San Felipe Trail, in memory of John C. Robison, participant of the Battle of Velasco; Joel W. Robison, McHenry Winburn, Isaac Lafayette Hill, Spencer Burton Townsend, Stephen Townsend, Veterans of San Jacinto; J. T. Townsend, John P. Townsend of the San Jacinto Campaign; Mayers Fisher Jones of the Santa Fe and Snively Expeditions; John Rufus Alexander of the Mier Expedition, and other Pioneers who resided in the vicinity. — 1936


SPENCER BURTON TOWNSEND, b. 14 April, 1806, Marlboro, SC lived in Bullock Co., GA, McIntosh Co, GA and Jefferson and Madison Co, FL. Spencer Burton held a Spanish Grant of 1833 and a San Jacinto Bounty Grant of 1836 in Tarrant Co, TX. Spencer Burton along with some brothers named Tooke: founded the old town of Prairie Point (now Oakland, Colorado Co., TX.) Spencer Burton first lived with his brother Thomas Roderick in Crockett. He md. in Crockett on 12 Feb., 1839, Louisa Dillard. Spencer d. 13 Dec., 1857 at Oakland, Colorado Co. (The list of his children is considered incomplete). James, b. 20 Nov., 1837, Adolphus, b. 2 March, 1841, Spencer (called Cotton Spencer), b. 5 March, 1843 ca. at Beaumont, TX, md. Mary Jane Bonner on 20 Dec, 1866 in Colorado Co., Jane Elizabeth (called Jennie) b. 20 Jan.,1845 md. 1 August, 1867, Hiram Walter Brown, Louise (called Florida) b. 26 Jan., 1847 md. 23 Nov., 1867, A. D. (Gus) Clements in Colorado Co., Mary Lucritia (called Molly) b. 2 Nov., 1853 md. 15 June, 1871, William A. Dudley in Colorado Co.. Merneva Ann Augusta (called Middie), b. 8 Jan., 1856 md 26 Oct., 1876, J. H. Watts in Colorado Co., JamesGaither, b. 23 Oct., 1851 md ca 1875, Margaret Ellen Downing, Keron Blanch, b. 4 Aug., 1859 in Colorado Co., md. 21 Sept., 1876, Samuel Houston Reese.

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Spencer Burton Townsend's Timeline

April 14, 1812
Marlboro, SC, USA
June 26, 1847
Age 35
Victoria, TX, USA
October 23, 1851
Age 39
December 12, 1857
Age 45
Weimar, Colorado, TX, USA
August 4, 1858
Age 45
Colorado, TX, USA
Lavaca, TX, USA