Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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TOWNSEND, SPENCER BURTON -- Born in Florida, April 14, 1812, a son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Stapleton) Townsend. He came to Texas sometime between May 2, 1835 and March 2, 1836. In the Headright Certificate issued to him January 23, 1838 for one-third of a league of land from the Board of Land Commissioners of Colorado County it is simply stated that he arrived prior to March 2, 1836. Had he arrived before May 2, 1835 this would have been stated in the certificate. Mr. Burton and his brother Stephen appeared before the Colorado Board on the same day. Stephen Townsend stated that he arrived in Texas in 1833. Spencer said that he had arrived prior to March 2, 1836.

Mr. Townsend was a member of Captain William H. Smith's Company of Cavalry at San Jacinto and on July 28, 1851 was issued Donation Certificate No. 352 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On July 28, 1851 he received Bounty Certificate No 902 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from February 1 to May 12, 1836. This he assigned July 28, 1851, while living in Fayette County, to Stephen Townsend. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 84 it is stated that he enlisted in Captain Stephen Townsend's Ranger Company February 1, 1836.

Mr. Townsend was married to Louisa H. Dillard, who was born in Tennessee in 1820 and died in Texas, November 11, 1889. She is buried in Weimar. Mrs. Townsend was a Baptist; her husband a Methodist. Mr. Townsend was a Mason, first joining the order at La Grange. He died near Oakland, Colorado County, Texas December 13, 1857 and is buried in the old Shiloh Cemetery near there. His grave is lost.

Ten Children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Townsend, three of whom died in infancy. The others were Spencer Burton, who married Mrs. Mary Jane Reese Bonner; Jane Elizabeth, who married to Hiram Brown of Galveston; Louisa, who married to Gus Clements; James; Mary Lucretia, who married William Dudley; Minerva Ann Augusta, who married to John Henry Watts; and Keetie Blanche Townsend, who was born August 4, 1858, and married Sam Houston Reese, March 16, 1899.

TOWNSEND, SPENCER -- "At a Special Term of the District Court holden in and for the County of Colorado on the Thirteenth day of August 1838, for the trial of


upon a charge of shooting and dangerously wounding the body of


Present J. W. Robinson, Judge of the District Court.

Court opened according to law; the Jurors were called and there being no Prosecuting Attorney Court Adjourned until tomorrow at Ten o'clock.

Records do not seem to show that this case ever came to trial as the Prosecuting Attorney evidently failed to show up. John H. Beal was the missing attorney.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. William H. Smith

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1812 Apr 14
  • Birthplace: Florida
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1857 Dec 13
  • Burial Place: Shiloh Cemetery, Colorado County, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 902
  • Donation Certificate: 352
  • Wife: Louisa H. Dillard
  • Children: Spencer Burtin Townsend; Jane Elizabeth Townsend Brown; Louisa Townsend Clements; James Townsend; Mary Lucretia Townsend Dudley; Minerva Ann Augusta Townsend Watts; Keetie Blanche Townsend Reese; three who died in infancy
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother Stephen Townsend at Harrisburg