Hosea Townsend

Hosea Townsend

Birth
Greenwich, Huron County, Ohio, USA
Death 4 Mar 1909 (aged 68)
Ardmore, Carter County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 13072377 · View Source
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U.S. Congressman, Federal Judge. Besides serving in the United States Congress for two terms, he is known for the decisions rendered as the Judge of the Southern District of the Indian Territory. As the son of Hiram and Eliza Townsend., he attended local schools and Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio. During the American Civil War, he enlisted in the Second Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry in 1861 but discharged in 1863 when he became disabled. At this point, he studied law, was admitted to Ohio Bar in 1864 and the next year, began his practice in Memphis, Tennessee along with marrying Anna Barnes. Entering politics for the first time, he served in the Tennessee State House of Representatives in 1869. He migrated west to Colorado in 1879 settling in Silver Cliff in 1881. As a Republican, he was elected to the United States Congress serving from March 1889 to March 1893; he was not re-elected for a third term. In 1897, he was appointed by President William McKinley to the position of Judge of the Southern District of the Indian Territory, thus the family relocated to Oklahoma Territory. In the ten years that he served as judge, many of his decisions impacted the daily lives of the Native American population. While he was judge, a crisis came about involving land leases on Indian Territory. On July 8, 1909, he rendered a decision regarding the fraudulent leasing of this land, which stated that the Indians were still ward of the United States although an Act of Congress pressed on March 3, 1901 made them American citizens. Judge Townsend had a forceful personality. In one case, a Seventh Day Adventist refused to perform jury duty on a Sunday, and Townsend found him in contempt of court. Then again, he discharged an entire jury that returned a verdict with which he disagreed saying the jury was "discharged for the term, and I never want to see any of you in my court again." Yet he extended leniency to a bootlegger whose family needed him at home to keep food on the table. He sentenced only one man, a murder, to death. Judge Hosea Townsend was reappointed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 and in 1906; he stayed in the position until the Indian Territory Court ceased to exist with Oklahoma statehood in 1907. His wife, Anna, was responsible is establishing the first library in Oklahoma Indian Territory which opened on October 1, 1906. Libraries established in Indian Territory before 1907 were of doubtful legality since the white population had no civic rights. They couple donated over 300 volumes of books to the library and were recently recognized by the State of Oklahoma for their efforts. As a well-respected member of the community, he remained in Ardmore, Oklahoma and practiced law until his death.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 20 Jan 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13072377
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hosea Townsend (16 Jun 1840–4 Mar 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13072377, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .