Saturday, March 28, 2015
J. L. Townsend Home--Photo of the Day
Joseph Longking Townsend was born in Canton, Pennsylvania in 1849. He received an excellent education and at the age of 21 was offered a professorship at the Agricultural College of Missouri. However, due to ill health he had to decline the offer. Shortly after, he moved to Salt Lake City hoping to improve his health.
About six months after arriving in Utah, he joined the Mormon Church. He eventually made his way to Payson and married a local girl, Alta Hancock. He operated a drug store in Payson for about 25 years. He later taught penmanship at Brigham Young Academy in Provo. He moved to Salt Lake City and became a manual training teacher at Salt Lake High School. He also served as one of the early principals of Payson High School. After residing in Salt Lake City for a few years, he returned to Payson.
William Clayson, O. P. Huish, John J. McClellan and J. L. Townsend, all early Payson residents, have more hymns (26) than any other composers whose work appears in the publications of the LDS Church. He was a poet and many of his works were set to mucic and are now part of the LDS Church’s music program.
"Choose the Right" is a saying or motto among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is taught to children and used by members of the church as a reminder to act righteously. The phrase is taken from an LDS hymn of the same name written by Joseph L. Townsend.
The property where the Townsend home was located was later purchased from the Bale family in the early 1950's by Nebo School District. The home, along with others to the north on the block, was demolished and Park View School was built on the site.