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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. GEORGE E. TOWNE is a man who has been prominently identified with the public and political affairs of Chautauqua county, and is also an advocate of recognized learning and ability in the profession of the law. He is a citizen of New York State and Chautauqua county by adoption only, but has become peculiarly and firmly wedded to its interests and fortunes. Mr. Towne was born in the Granite State, village of Keene. The grandparent of the subject, David Towne, was one of the daring patriots and valiant soldiers who, under the incomparable leadership of Ethan Allen, captured Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary war. He was also one of the famous “Green Mountain Boys” who won such a decisive and overwhelming victory at Bennington, Vermont. Andrew H. Towne (father of subject) is a resident of Franklinville, Cattaraugus county, New York, and has been engaged in agricultural and viticultural pursuits the major part of his life. His wife, who was a native of Grafton, Vermont, died in 1888.

George E. Towne passed his childhood in New Hampshire, and removed to Cattaraugus county, N. Y., at the age of thirteen. He entered the Ten Broeck academy at Franklinville, graduating in 1875. In the spring following his graduation he wended his way across the continent to the Pacific coast, where he hazarded his fortunes for about a year in the golden State of California. In 1876 he returned to the east, and began to read law with a cousin, Hon. Alfred Spring, of Franklinville, the present surrogate of Cattaraugus county, and the next year accepted the principalship of the schools at Little Valley, Cattaraugus county, which position he held a year, and then resumed his law studies. He was admitted to practice in all of the courts of the State of New York at Rochester in 1879, but began the actual practice of his profession in Cattaraugus, New York. In 1880 he removed to Silver Creek, where he continued his practice until 1888, when he became a candidate for, and was elected to, the New York Legislature. His course, while at the State capital, so completely met with the approbation of his constituents, and was so commendable in its efforts to secure the political, economic, industrial and reciprocal rights secured to the citizens of the Commonwealth of New York under its constitution and a republican form of government, that at the termination of his first term of service, he was enthusiastically returned. While in the Legislature Mr. Towne was a member of the judiciary committee, and also chairman of the committee on claims. He was recognized as one of the leaders of the House on the republican side, and gained an enviable reputation as a speaker, a logical and persuasive reasoner and a man of broad and thorough acquaintance with public questions. Mr. Towne has a pleasing address, is uniformly genial and courteous, and as a lawyer, as a representative of the people, as a citizen, enjoys the confidence and high esteem of his fellow-men.

On June 18, 1883, he was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Smith, of Franklinville, and has three children: Frank, five years of age; Hazel; and one still in infancy. Mr. Towne is half owner of thirty acres of grape land and has twenty acres under cultivation.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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