Biography of Townsend Powell


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Pages 346 & 347


  Townsend Powell, son of James and Martha Powell, was born at Clinton, Dutchess Co., N. Y., August 23, 1807.  He lived at the homestead, early assuming the care of the farm, until the year 1845, when he removed to Ghent, Columbia Co., where he now resides.  He has devoted himself to the careful cultivation and improvement of his farm, and has also entered largely into local improvements, for many years taking an active interest in the public school.

     His wife, Catharine Macy, daughter of Abram and Elizabeth Macy, was of Nantucket ancestry.  She was an enthusiastic lover of flowers, and cultivated them with great success.  She died Feb. 10, 1877, but the home still bears the evidences of her zeal in making it attractive and beautiful.

     Their oldest son, Aaron M. Powell, was born at Clinton, in 1832.  At the age of eighteen he became interested in the anti-slavery cause, and from that time until the proclamation of emancipation gave his best efforts to secure the abolition of slavery in the United States.  He was editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard from 1866.  He has since devoted himself to the temperance cause, having been for several years the associate editor of the National Temperance Advocate, published in New York.  He has also been an advocate of woman's suffrage, and in 1872 went as a delegate to the International Prison Congress held in London, and in 1877 attended the International Congress held at Geneva, Switzerland, to promote the abolition of State-regulated vice.  In 1864 he married Anna Rice, of Worcester, Mass.

     Their daughter, Elizabeth M. Powell, was born in Clinton in 1841; graduated at the State Normal School, at Albany, was subsequently a teacher, and was connected in that capacity with Vassar College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.  During the year 1871 she was associated with Charles C. Burleigh in the care of the Free Congregational Society, of Florence, Mass.  In 1872 she was married to Henry H. Bond, a lawyer, residing in Florence.

     The son, George T. Powell, born in Clinton, in 1843, and his wife, Maria Chace, of Claverack, have charge of the farm.  He is especially interested in the culture of fruit, and has flourishing orchards of apples, pears, cherries, and peaches.  He shares the various public interests of the town, acting as president of the Farmers' Club of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, as editor of the agricultural department of the Chatham Courier, as trustee of the public school, and superintendent of the Friends' Sabbath-school.  In the year 1877 he was elected president of the Columbia County Teachers' Association.