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Timeline of Norton Townshend's Life

1815

Norton Strange Townshend, son of Joel and Rebecca Townshend, is born on Christmas day in Clay Coton, Northamptonshire, England.

1820

Begins study at Bitteswell Academy in Leicestershire.

1830
Immigrates with family to Avon, Ohio and settles on a farm.
1836

Joel Townshend helps to fond the First Congregational Church of Avon, which Norton joins.

 

Norton is employed to teach at the district school.

The family gains United States citizenship.

1837

Townshend begins the study of medicine with Dr. Richard Howard of Elyria and continues his studies at the Cincinnati Medical College in the fall and winter.

 

In Cincinnati, Townshend meets and befriends Salmon P. Chase and serves as a "Conductor" on the Underground Railroad.

1839

Enrolls in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

1840

Graduates and travels to Northamptonshire, England to visit family, then to London and Paris to observe surgeries.

 

In June, attends the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London.

1841

Studies medicine in Edinburgh, visits Dublin, and sails back to the U.S. from London in April.

 

Begins practice of medicine in Avon by July.

1843

Organizes Oberlin Peace Society.

 

Marries Harriet Newell Wood on December 27.

1844

Moves with Harriet to Elyria to take over Dr. Howard's practice, but keeps farm at Avon.

 

First child, Arthur Smith Townshend, is born November 11.

1845
Appointed trustee of Oberlin College.
1846

Presents resolution to establish an agricultural college as part of Oberlin at Board of Trustees meeting, which does not pass.

 

Second child, James Houghton Townshend, is born September 28.

1848
Elected as Free Soil candidate to Ohio General Assembly.
1849

Successfully negotiates for repeal of Ohio Black Laws in exchange for Free Soil coalition with Democrats.

 

Son, Arthur, dies of illness.

 

Daughter, Mary Rebecca Townshend, is born December 21.

1850
Elected to the 32nd Congress, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1851

Serves as delegate to the Ohio Constitutional

 

Convention, during which he argues for woman and African American suffrage.

1853
Loses congressional seat, but is elected to Ohio State Senate.
1854

Harriet dies of tuberculosis January 24.

 

Townshend co-founds the Ohio Agricultural College and teaches classes on animal anatomy, veterinary medicine, and feeding and breeding of livestock.

 

Marries Margaret Bailey, a mathematics teacher October 17.

1855
Arthur Bailey Townshend born July 20.
1857

Terminates service on the Oberlin College Board of Trustees in May.

 

Daughter, Harriet Norton Townshend, is born September 12.

 

Townshend appointed trustee of the Ohio State Asylum for Idiotic and Imbecile Youth.

1858

Appointed to the State Board of Agirculture, where he serves until 1863.

 

Advocates state-support of agricultural institutions.

1860
Daughter, Alice Margaret Townshend, is born 1860.
1862

Appointed by Chase to the U.S. Assay Commission, to analyze the purity of coinage.

1863

Appointed Medical Inspector for the Union Army.

1865
Returns home from military duties in October.
1869
Accepts temporary position as first Professor of Agriculture at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames, leaving his family behind to look after the farm.
1870

Appointed to the Board of Trustees of the newly-created Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College by Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes.

 

Aids in selecting the location and defining the curriculum of the new institution.

1873

Accepts Chair of Agriculture Department at Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, which becomes Ohio State University in 1877.

 

Named Superintendant of the experimental farm at OA&MC.

 

Moves with family (Margaret and all children except James, who is in Stillwater, Minnesota) to Columbus, Ohio.

 

Enrolls Harriet, Arthur, and Alice as three of the College's first students.

1876

Assists in preparing an exhibit on Ohio's archaeology and gives a speech on agriculture at the U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

1877
Townshend replaced by Charles Thorne as Superitendant of Ohio State University farm.
1879
Townshend petitions for the establishment of an Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station, affiliated with Ohio State University.
1882

Bill providing for Experiment Station passes, and Townshend is put in charge of of farm experiments.

 

Townshend's brother-in-law, daguerreotypist Thomas Easterly, dies in St. Louis.

1886
Becomes Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Ohio State University.
1887
Awarded degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by Ohio State University.
1888
Son James dies of tuberculosis on June 26.
1889

Margaret's sister, Miriam Easterly, who is living with the Townshends, dies April 18.

1891
Townshend named Ohio State University's first Professor Emeritus.
1895
Dies July 13 at age 79.
1898
Townshend Hall dedicated in Townshend's honor at the University.

Townshend home in Northamptonshire.


Admission ticket for lectures at Cincinnati College, 1837.


Townshend's business card, 1841.


Advertisement for the first courses at Ohio
Agricultural College, 1856.


Children of Norton and Margaret Townshend:
(from left) Arthur, Alice and Harriet


Flyer for agricultural lecturer given by Townshend, 1879.


The Townshend Family, c. 1885.


Townshend obituary, 1895.


Townshend Hall (detail).

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