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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


FRANK MUNDAY TOWNE. Few men are living in San Bernardino who made the record "for all men to read" which was left by Frank Munday Towne, pioneer citizen and druggist. He lived in the city he loved so well for over forty years, fulfilling the highest ideal of American citizenship. His untiring efforts on behalf of the development of the city made him one of the most substantial, solid and trustworthy citizens. He spent, his life in the one line of business, building up a clientele reaching all over the county, and attaining a business standing exceptionally high.

Like so many of the finest men of the county, Mr. Towne was a native son of the Golden State, being the son of one of the earliest pioneers. He gained his education and spent his entire life here. He was a true son of California, knowing that he was indeed fortunate to be one of her sons, and giving her service and love. His patriotism was deep and strong and inherent, not brought out for special occasions, but part of his life. During the World war no man in the United States, according to his opportunities, worked harder or to better advantage than Mr. Towne, for he gave time and money and ceaseless effort from the first to the last minute of those trying times.

Mr. Towne was adverse to standing in the lime light and could be prevailed upon only once to serve the county in a public capacity, but in doing so he did it as all things, in a manner above criticism. He was a comparatively young man when he passed on, loved and mourned by his family and friends and the city of which he had been such an integral part. So long as San Bernardino is standing and her history known the name of Frank Munday Towne will be honored as one of her most worthy, best loved men.

Mr. Towne was born in Petaluma, California, in October, 1860, the son of Smith D. Towne, who conducted a drug store in Petaluma for many years, and was one of that city's worth-while citizens. In the place where he was born Frank Munday Towne died.

He was educated in the public schools of Petaluma, and then in the Pharmacy School of the University of California, from which he was graduated. During the time he was acquiring his education he worked for his father in the drug store. Deciding to branch out for himself after his graduation, he located in San Bernardino, working at first for Mr. Waldrip, the druggist. In 1880 he bought a partnership with him, and the firm name was Waldrip & Towne. This continued for a short time, when Mr. Nickerson bought out Waldrip's interest and the firm name became Towne & Nickerson. This continued a few years, and then Towne bought out the Nickerson interest, and the name was F. Towne until 1895, when the firm became Towne & Lamb. In 1900 the firm of Towne, Seccomb & Allison was organized, and in 1911 the business was incorporated under this latter name. In the spring of 1919 Mr. Beverly Towne and Charles Lindner, Jr., bought out W. C. Seccombe's interest and the name was changed again, this time to the Towne-Allison Drug Company. On December 20th Frank M. Towne died.  

Mr. Towne married in March, 1884, Anna B. Fox, daughter of Daniel W. Fox, one of California's earliest pioneers, who came to California around Cape Horn in 1852 from Connecticut. Like most of the pioneers of that time he was a gold seeker and settled in El Dorado County.

Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Towne were the parents of three children: Dwight, who was born in Garden Valley, El Dorado County, and married Amy McConnell, of New York, and has two children, Frank and Kathryn ; Lean, born in San Bernardino ; Beverly, born in San Bernardino and married Hazel Bryan, of Redlands.

Mr. Towne was a member of Arrowhead Parlor 110, Native Sons of the Golden West, of which Dwight Fox was the organizer. He was also a member of the San Bernardino Lodge No. 836, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was always independent in politics, believing in the right man for the right place. He was at one time public administrator for Sail Bernardino County. Mr. and Mrs. Towne were members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Towne was representative of the Shipping Board during the late war and enrolled a large number of men. The Towne family has in its possession the check for one dollar paid him by the Government for his services in enrolling men in the Merchant Marine. He was also a member of the various committees for the different drives of the war activities, and in every way aided anything and everything he could that would help the country.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011