CHARLES HENRY TOWNSEND

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P. 463

CHARLES HENRY TOWNSEND, long and favorably known in Willimantic, Windham county, as an artistic photographer of more than the usual excellence, as a genial and courteous gentleman devoted to the gentle art of fishing, and withal a broad minded and patriotic citizen, was born in Athens, Ohio, Dec. 23, 1847, a son of John R. and Mary B. (Bougher) Townsend.  The father, who was born in Andover, Conn., was killed in 1850, leaving two children, Ada I., who is a resident of Chicago, and Charles H.

Mr. Townsend lived in Ohio until the breaking out of the Civil war, having but little schooling, and in fact received the most of his education after the end of the Rebellion.  He enlisted in his sixteenth year, June 25, 1863, in the 129th O.V.I., serving until March 8, 1864.  At this time he enlisted in the 141st O.V.I., for 100 days, and was mustered out Sept. 3, 1864.  His third enlistment was on Oct. 20, 1864, and he was assigned to the 65th O.V.I., with which command he remained until his final discharge Oct. 19, 1865, at Victoria, Texas, his regiment doing duty in the more disturbed regions of Texas long after the closing of the War.  When he was released from his military obligations, which had now grown somewhat irksome, and as peace had come to all the land, Mr. Townsend returned to his native town, where he attended school for a time.  He had an uncle in Springfield, Mass.,  A.C. Townsend, who was an expert photographer, and at his invitation the young man went to Springfield, and there learned the rudiments of the art he has since so successfully followed.  This was thirty-five years ago, and though photography has made many and rapid strides he has kept pace with it.  In 1868 he opened a studio in Willimantic, and with the exception of five years spent in Southbridge, Mass.,  his home has been in this city to the present time.  About 1880, Mr. Townsend established his present studio at the corner of Main and Railroad streets.  This was in its earlier days a modest affair, and from time to time it has received many additions and enlargements, until now nearly all the rooms on the third floor are devoted to the needs of the business.  It is a  thoroughly modern studio, and everything new and novel in the photographic art is quickly brought into play for the benefit of the Willimantic public.  The work of Mr. Townsend will compare very favorably with that emanating from the most noted studios of the great cities, and he has patrons who come from a distance, so highly is his work regarded.  For a few seasons Mr. Townsend controlled, in this vicinity, the sale of the Columbia bicycle.  As a fisherman he has a reputation which would do credit to any disciple of Izaak Walton.

On March 7, 1871, Mr. Townsend was married to Miss Rhoda Taft, a native of Chaplin, by whom he has one son, Fred C. Townsend, now an architect, employed in New Haven.  Mr. Townsend is an ardent devotee of Republican principles, and is a member of Francis S. Long Post, G.A.R., at Willimantic.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.

 

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