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Clarence S. Townley

TOWNLEY, Clarence S., one of the most prominent lawyers of Macomb, and State's Attorney of McDonough County, Ill., was born in Louisville, Ky., November 13, 1866. Although the subject of this sketch lived in town he worked on a farm in early youth, and in leisure hours was very fond of outdoor sports, riding, hunting, fishing, etc. In boyhood he attended the district schools of his neighborhood, and was afterward a student in the Carthage (Ill.) and Eureka Colleges, taking the regular classical course, and devoting especial attention to history, that and mathematics being his favorite studies. While in college he read law, as opportunity offered. After completing his education he taught school in the country districts of Hancock County, Ill., and subsequently read law with Hon. William H. Warder, who was a member of the State Legislature, and one of the ablest lawyers in southern Illinois. In 1899 Mr. Townley was admitted to the bar, and shortly afterward moved to Blandinsville, Ill., where he commenced the practice of his profession. In this he soon rose to prominence, and acquired a profitable patronage. Upon his election as State's Attorney he moved to Macomb.

Mr. Townley has always been inclined to travel, and being a forceful and popular speaker, he has been much in demand on public occasions throughout the State. Being quite prominent in fraternal circles, he has made numerous addresses in connection with the various orders of which he is a member.

On June 27, 1902, Mr. Townley was united in marriage, at Rockford, Ill., to Emma Cunningham, a lady of fine culture and many accomplishments. She is also eloquent and convincing as a public speaker, and has been in frequent requisition for addresses at different points, though in recent years she has had little time for work of this nature. Her platform efforts have brought her into prominent notice and she was several times President of the District C. E. Union and the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the old Twenty-second Congressional District. Mr. and Mrs. Townley have two children: Fairfax and Wayne, born, respectively, April 11, 1893, and August 26, 1894.

Religiously, Mr. Townley adheres to the Christian faith. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., Blandinsville Lodge and Chapter, and Macomb Commandery No. 61. He is also identified with the K. of P., of Bushnell, Cleveland Lodge No. 101; I. O. O. F., New Hope Lodge No. 263, of Blandinsville, Colchester Encampment; and M. W. A., No. 396, of Blandinsville, of which he is District Deputy. In politics, Mr. Townley is an earnest and influential Republican. He was elected State's Attorney of McDonough County in November, 1904, by the largest majority ever given any candidate for office in the county, and his administration of the affairs of this office has been vigorous, honest and efficient.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1022-1023, extracted 07 Aug 2020 by Norma Hass.

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