"MILTON TOWNSEND, real estate dealer and retired merchant, is one of New Brighton's most esteemed citizens. He is spending the sunset of life, in his beautiful home, upon the knoll at the lower end of Third avenue, enjoying every convenience and comfort that could be desired. His residence is one of the finest sights in Beaver county, Pa., being surrounded by spacious lawns, lovely driveways and walks overlooking the valley below, and overshadowed by towering mountains, sublime in their grandeur. The subject of this sketch was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, November 3, 1820, and can trace his ancestors back to the sixth generation, the family being of English origin. He is a son of Talbot and Edith (Ware) Townsend, and grandson of Francis and Rachel (Fallett) Townsend. Francis Townsend was born on April 15, 1740, was a son of Joseph Townsend, Jr., grandson of Joseph Townsend, Sr., and great-grandson of William Townsend, a native of Berks county, England. Francis Townsend wedded, Rachel Fallett on July 8, 1762. They belonged to that good old class of people, the Quakers, who were such important factors in the settlement and early history of Pennsylvania. In 1786, Francis Townsend and his family entered the western part of Pennsylvania, settling at Brighton, which is now known as Beaver Falls. Mr. Townsend at once engaged in business by establishing an iron foundry and blast furnace for the manufacture of pig iron. He was so successful in this venture for many years, that in time, he became the owner of considerable land and much valuable property in that vicinity. Like most of his creed, he was a fine old man, actuated by just and upright principles, and lived a life worthy of imitation by his sons. In the year 1800, he retired from active business pursuits and removed to Fallston, where he spent his last years with his sons, who had erected mills there. His death occurred at Fallston. He and his good wife were parents of the following children: David; Benjamin J.; Isaac; Francis; Talbot; Lydia, wife of Evan Pugh; and one more daughter whose name cannot be recalled.
Talbot Townsend, father of Milton, was born in Chester county, Pa., and accompanied his parents west to Beaver county. In 1816, he went down the Yellow Creek to Jefferson county, Ohio, and engaged in the manufacture of salt for some time. In 1837, he located at New Brighton, Pa., where he built a stone flouring mill, and carried on quite an extensive business for those days. His mill was run by a splendid water power. In dry seasons, people came twenty-five or thirty miles to have their grain ground at his mill, coming, also, many miles by canoe. Much of their flour was shipped to the Pittsburg market, and further down the Ohio River. Mr. Townsend was a very successful miller, and acquired much property in the vicinity of New Brighton. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-seven years, and his most worthy wife lived to be seventy-seven years old. She was, before marriage, Edith Ware, a daughter of Asa Ware, of Salem, Ohio. Both Mr. and Mrs. Townsend belonged to the Society of Friends. Their children were: Milo, who married Elizabeth Walker; Eliza, wife of John Gammal; Milton, subject of this sketch; Alfred, who died unmarried; Lydia, wife of Edwin Morlan; Caroline, wife of Ebenezer Rhodes; and Alice, wife of Samuel Junkins. Milton Townsend succeeded his father in the milling business for several years, until the mill burned. He then went into the transportation business, owning some boats and leasing others, and doing a large freight business up and down the canal for years, until the railroads became so numerous that boating was done away with. He next became agent for the Pittsburg & Cleveland R. R., after which he was clerk of the post office in Pittsburg for a period of two years. Returning to New Brighton, he conducted a shoe store very successfully for years, after which he retired, and built a handsome brick business block on Third avenue, where his father formerly resided. Mr. Townsend then began dealing in real estate, - buying and selling. He purchased the Abel Townsend estate, which consisted of a fine orchard called "Knob Lot," a round knoll at the lower end of Third avenue. He first built a round tenement house in the center of an orchard which contained the finest and largest variety of fruit in that vicinity. Later he had the house remodeled into a handsome dwelling, which he now occupies. The subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Lavinia Oakley. Mrs. Townsend was a daughter of John M. Oakley, of Brighton, formerly of Baltimore, Maryland. She was born in 1823, and passed to her final rest in 1892. She bore her husband three children, two of whom were sons who died in infancy. The daughter, Emily O., became the wife of Ernest Mayer, one of the two owners of the Mayer Pottery Company, of New Brighton, Pennsylvania. In his political opinions, Mr. Townsend first belonged to the old line Whigs, was later an anti-slavery man and now votes the Republican ticket. In his younger days, he was connected with both the Masonic fraternity and the Odd Fellows. Mr. Townsend has closed a long career of toil and is now enjoying that calm that comes after the struggle, untroubled by anxious thoughts of what the future may bring forth. His age has already gone far beyond that allotted to the average man, and he is fast approaching the octogenarian mark, but he still retains much of his youthful vigor. He has been identified with every enterprise worthy of note - since his residence in New Brighton, and justly deserves the esteem of all." Source: BOOK OF BIOGRAPHIES. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Buffalo, N.Y., Chicago, Ill.: Biographical Publishing Company, 1899, pp. 28-30