Manly and his extended family were an important part of Alexander from after 1840 until the 1870s. Early history of this family can be found in Daniel Townsend, SR, Sidney, Maine and Descendants written in 1995 by Beatrice Kay Reynolds.

Dodivah and Sabra (Price) Townsend were the parents of eleven children. We list them here with their birth dates in (parenthesis); this was the family in which Manly grew-up in Sidney, Maine.

Eunice Sawtelle Townsend (December 21, 1801) married Abial Abbott (1795). Their children born in Sidney were Olive Baker (1825), Manley Townsend (1826) and Abial Howard (1828). Eunice died on April 26, 1846. (See Alexander Connection)

Manley Butterfield Townsend (May 8, 1802) died on December 7, 1849. (See Alexander Connection)

Ruel D Townsend (February 4, 1805) married Hepsebeth Abbott (ca 1808). They resided in Augusta and we have no record of surviving children. Ruel died October 9, 1897

Nathan Sawtelle Townsend (November 9, 1806) (See Alexander Connection)

James Sullivan Townsend (August 19, 1808) died on August 11, 1831.

Thomas Barnes (August 2, 1810) died May 1, 1841.

Ann Price Townsend (September 6, 1812) married Columbus Haines of East Livermore.

Asa Sawtelle (April 13, 1815) (See Alexander Connection)

Caroline Price Townsend (May 25, 1817) married Reverend W. A. P. Dilllingham at Augusta.

Charles Henry Townsend (November 7, 1819) became part of Alexander history through his marriage to Sarah Jane Beane. (See Alexander Connection)

Albion Keith Paris Townsend (November 4, 1822) was named for Maine’s popular second elected governor, Albion Keith Parris of Portland. A. K. Parris was just 33 years old when first elected and he served five terms. (See Alexander Connection)


Eunice Sawtelle Townsend Abbott died on April 26, 1846. There is no record of her ever being in Alexander except possibly visiting her brother Manly. However her husband Abiel Abbott (age 55) was in Alexander according to the 1850 census. With him were their children Olive (25), Manly F. (24), Abiel H. (21), Thomas (16), Edward (15), Eugene (12), Asa (8) and John W. (3). This entire family disappeared from Alexander before 1860 except for Thomas T. Abbott.

Tom Abbott taught several terms in Alexander. He and Mary E. Townsend were married on August 18, 1857 by Jacob Caldwell, Pastor of the Unitarian Church in Calais. Their children of record were Mary Almeda (August 14, 1858 – September 23, 1864), George Everett (September 28, 1861) Anna Mabel (April 28, 1871 – December 22, 1880). Thomas (1833 – 1893), Annie and Mamie are buried in marked graves in the Townsend lot at the Alexander Cemetery.

Manley Butterfield Townsend, a graduate of Waterville (Colby) College, read law with O. L. Bridges to become a lawyer and moved to Calais. He paid personal property taxes in 1828 and practiced law there from 1831 until 1842. More importantly, on May 21, 1832, he married Almeda Sawyer, a lady of considerable wealth and talents.

Almeda Salome Sawyer was one of several children of Abner and Phebe (Cole) Sawyer. Abner arrived in Calais before 1820 and became the fifth highest taxpayer by 1830 apparently through his general store and being a shrewd businessman. Almeda was born at Phillipstown, Massachusetts on February 7, 1811; Almeda died on July 24, 1874 in Alexander and is buried beside her husband in the family lot at the Alexander Cemetery.

The names of the children of Manly and Almeda Townsend come from several sources including Vital Records of Alexander compiled by Sharon Howland. The first four were born in Calais, the latter three in Alexander.

Abner Sawyer Townsend (July 9, 1833) was named for his maternal grandfather. He lived in 1861 at the south end of the Flat Road. He was listed as a teacher in Alexander six years between 1857 and 1867.He became a minister in the Methodist Church. He married Harriet Louise Berry of Alexander who died at age 41 on May 17, 1879 at Brewer. Subsequently he married Fanny Stinchfield (Stanchfield); their daughter Louise, born 1883, died on July 9, 1891. Fanny Amelia was born on July 2, 1857, likely in Alexander and died in March 1935 and her ashes, according to Pliney Frost, are buried in Reverend A. S, Townsend’s grave. Reverend Townsend has no grave marker, but died on February 28, 1885 at Ellsworth and is buried with the three females listed in the family lot in the Alexander Cemetery. .

George Frederick Townsend (July 17, 1835) studied medicine with Doctors Holmes and Swan of Calais before attending Jefferson Medical College. He lived and practiced in St. Anthony’s Falls (Minneapolis) and Lubec before returning to Calais in the 1880s. In 1859 he had married Phebe Craft of Alexander who died ca 1896. Dr. Townsend died on December 5, 1906 and is buried with Phebe in a marked grave in the family plot at the Alexander Cemetery

Mary Elizabeth Townsend (June 2, 1837), as noted above, married her cousin Thomas T. Abbott and lived in Alexander until after 1870 when they moved to North Anson. Elizabeth was living there in 1906 when her brother George died.

Manly Price Townsend (October 25, 1841); he died on May 13, 1869 and is buried family lot at the Alexander Cemetery.

Thomas Boyd Townsend (February 28, 1845) was single and living with his mother until 1870 or after. He taught a term of school in 1865. He was a resident of Long Beach, California in 1906 when his brother George died.

Phebe Cole Townsend (April 17, 1847); Phebe died on May 25, 1865 and is buried in the family lot at the Alexander Cemetery.


Manly was a lawyer and Justice of the Peace. It is said that he and the family lived on Calais Avenue in one of the two neighboring Greek Revival homes that were built by Abner Sawyer for his daughters. Abner Sawyer also built the house that the Calais Advertiser now occupies and the old nurses’ home that stood at the corner of Park and Church streets. It was Abner’s wealth that set up Manly.

Manly acquired land, possibly by loaning money and holding mortgages. Some of the Calais lots were on the Nash’s Mills Road and near the road by the Salt works. He got an undivided half of Township #10, 3rd Range (Forest Township east of Brookton). He also bought land in Robbinston. Of course, he resold these lots. Interestingly, after Manly died, his widow went in to the land business, buying and selling lots in Alexander, Topsfield and several in Calais including, in 1855, the lot on Church Street for the Second Baptist Church.


The Aroostook War was a result of the United States and Great Britain not agreeing on where the boundary line was between Maine and New Brunswick. Things boiled over when loggers from both countries claimed rights to the timber in the Aroostook River Valley.

John Fairfield was Maine’s Governor and Commander in Chief of the Militia. His Adjutant General was A. B. Thompson. On February 19, 1839, Order #7 required raising an army of 10,343 men; three divisions of cavalry (74 men), 8 divisions of artillery (541 men), 8 divisions of infantry (7482 men), 8 divisions of light infantry (1752 men) and 7 divisions of riflemen (584 men). The Legislature appropriated $800,000 to defend public lands and the Federal Government paid Maine $200,000 in 1842 for defending the nation’s integrity.

Manly was appointed aide-de-camp by Governor Fairfield; his job was to see that the necessary supplies got to the men. The supplies included ¾ pound pork, 1 ¼ pound salt beef, 18 ounces bread, 4 pounds soap, 1 ½ candles, 2 quarts salt, 4 quarts vinegar, 8 quarts beans, 2 pounds tea, and 12 pounds sugar (or the equivalent in molasses) to every 100 rations. Each man had to supply his first three days’ food and the towns had to transportation and camp equipment.

Manly was a Democrat and served in the Maine State Senate from 1844 to 1846. The man he defeated for that position in 1844 was James Shepherd Pike of Calais. [Pike lived to age 71 and served in the national government under Lincoln and Grant.] Townsend served as President of that body in 1845. Manly had chosen in 1841 or 42 to move to Alexander and become a farmer. He left that life as a country gentleman to serve in the Senate. Would he have left again for public service had he lived longer?


It is said that Manly built the big house that stood on Townsend Hill, across from the present Grange Hall. He had owned lot 60, where the Alexander Cemetery is, which he sold to Fredrick Pilchy of Alexander for $350 in 1847. Manly held the mortgage and was to be paid over ten years.

Manly died on December 7, 1849 of “inflammation after six months of confinement”, according to the 1850 census. The inventory of his estate was done by Jesse Stephenson of Alexander and Samuel Lamb of Calais and appraised by William Spring of Alexander and included the John Bartlett* Place in Alexander $92.00, 6 beds with bedding and bed stands $60.00, 24 chairs and matching table $19.00, 2 card tables $6.50, gold watch $28.00, silver spoons $15.00 and five law books $5.00. The list is long.

Almeda was administratrix, but she faced problems. At the time of his death Manly owed his father-in-law $4970.36 plus $537.15 to seven other claimants. His death cost $88.81 including $25.50 for Dr. S. M. Smith and $21.65 for the funeral. Almeda needed cash so a public sale at the post office in Calais was held on March 24, 1851 to sell lot 60 on which Pilchy had not made payments.


Nathan Sawtelle Townsend married Emeline W. Crowell (May 26, 1811) on February 4, 1833. Their children according to Alexander Vitals were Annie C. (September 15, 1834), Sabra P. (December 14, 1842) and Mary E. (December 23, 1847). Anna C. Townsend taught here in 1854 and in 1857.

Asa Sawtelle Townsend and Ann L. York were married on November 18, 1843. She died on September 30, 1844 at Alexander at age 24 years 5 months and 22 days. Apparently he married Nancy ________. Records indicate two children were born to Asa and Nancy.

Charles Henry Townsend married Sarah Jane Beane of Alexander on February 17, 1848. Their two likely Sidney born children were Mary Augusta (April 15, 1849) and Thomas Beane (April 24, 1851). This family appears in Alexander vitals with a third child, Charles D. Townsend (February 9, 1855). This family was likely in Alexander for a few years between the 1850 and 1860 census years.

Albion Keith Paris Townsend was a teacher living in Alexander in 1850 with his sister-in-law, Almeda Townsend and her five children. AKP Townsend attended the teachers’ conference at East Machias on October 16, 1849.


In the Townsend lot at the Alexander Cemetery is a stone marked Harry 1867 – 1920 and Maude 1868 – 1945 wife. Who were they?

Who was Laura Townsend who taught in Alexander in 1861?

Who was H. C. Townsend of Fort Fairfield who taught in Alexander in 1879 and 1881? He married Nelley C. Berry of Alexander in St. Stephen on May 28, 1876. Nelley’s sister Harriet married who Abner Townsend.


According to John G. Taylor, Alexander’s first Town Clerk, John Bartlett was born on September 9, 1781 in Mount Vernon, Maine. He married on March 13, 1821 Climena Lyon who was born on February 3, 1801 at Readfield. She was likely a sister of Porter Lyon(s) who also settled in Alexander. The children of John and Climena were Maria (June 22, 1822), Lovica (March 3, 1826), Susan and Abigail (May 15, 1828) and John (January 2, 1835). The first were born in Searsmont, and the last in Alexander. The family moved here after the 1830 census, The younger John was born here, and the family left Alexander before the 1840 census.

Two things carry the Townsend name in Alexander today; the road that runs from the Airline up past the Grange Hall is called Townsend Hill by some of us with long memories. The former fire hall at the corner of the Spearin and Cooper roads carries many names, Hale School, Northeast School District, Lower District Schoolhouse, District #2 and Townsend School.

Manley or Manly? Records of his time show both spellings. We found no copy of his signature.