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Biographical Sketches

William Riley TOWNSEND Family
submitted by:
Bess (Townsend) Ramey

The Townsend family was drawn to Kingfisher Co. for the same reason as others: new land, preferably with less rocks than the last. They came from Michigan and, before that, from Connecticut. Edward Harley, the eldest son, worked for a time with the Darlington Indian Agency. He returned to Michigan to get his own family and encourage his siblings to join him for some better land.

At least one of them arrived prior to the Cherokee Strip Run and obtained land nearby. A favorite family story was some of them watching part of the Run from their back yard. Four of the men made the Run and filed claims in the Hennessey area. More of the family, including Emeline, the matriarch of the group,
joined them in this move.

Most of them farmed. Edward Harley had a store in Todd, Blaine Co. and was superintendent of Hennessey schools at one time. His brothers, Lewis and Cyrus, were schoolteachers. Lewis's son Benjamin Iris, was an early pioneer doctor for an Indian Agency in Nevada and later in Hennessey. To the best of our knowledge, none of their descendants remain in the Hennessey area.

Here is the bare-bones tree for my branch:

William Riley Townsend, b. abt 1818, probably in Ct., d. 1860 in Mich.
Married Emeline Dorleska Wedge in 1845 in Ct. She was born in 1826 in Ct. and d. 1892 in Hennessey.

Their children:

Edward Harley, b. 1846 in Ct., d. 1894 in Ok. , m. Julia Ann Castle
William Burdette, b. 1847 in Ct., d. 1889 in Unk. , m. ??
Darius , b. 1849 in Ct. , d. 1932 in Hennessey, m. Martha Ann Van Lone
Lewis Edgar, b. 1851 in Ct., d. 1933 in Hennessey, m. Margaret McCowen
Salina Marion, b. 1853 in Ct., d. 1930 in Ok., m. Samuel Crossman
Benjamin Franklin, b. 1856 in Ct., d. 1873 , prob. in Mich.
Cyrus Riley, b. 1859 in Mi., d. after 1911 in Ok., m. Mrytle Benjamin
and DeEtte ??

Darius was my grandfather and his son Peter was my father. I am the oldest child of Peter by his second wife, Nila Kitchel. I was born 16 Jun 1940 on a farm outside of Hennessey, married Wilbur Don Ramey of
Dover on 17 Jul 1959. We have one son, David, b. 6 Nov 1974.

If anyone wants more info, we can provide it. If any descendants read this, let us hear from you. If anyone knows William Riley's parents, we will bless you forever if you tell us who they are.

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This page was last updated on 8/24/2000..