Anna Sarah Townsend was born 9 February 1864 in Malta, Illinois, daughter of Eleanor Pierce and Amos W. Townsend. She had an older brother, Frederick and an older sister, Jennie. She also had two younger sisters, Georgia and Mary.
The family moved to the Daniel Pierce farm just west of Sycamore, Illinois in 1876 when Anna’s maternal grandmother, Phoebe Jane Brundage Pierce, died. This allowed them to care for her grandfather, Daniel Pierce.
In 1879 when she was 15, she went to Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, for a year. This is where she met Frank Claycomb. Anna’s mother was active in the Universalist Church and later on was on the board of Lombard College, a Universalist school.
Anna then spent a year in school in Jacksonville, about 100 miles south of Galesburg. And then a further year at Rockford Female Seminary. It’s interesting that about this time, Jane Addams also attended Rockford (Class of 1881).
In 1881 Anna’s sister, Jennie, married Charles A. Webster.
I have a postcard Anna sent to her brother Fred in 1881 (could be 1887). It appears to be written in a foreign language, although I think it may be a secret sibling language. What does it look like to you? She has beautiful, legible handwriting as you can see by the front of the card.
When I sat down to write Frank’s story, I realized how little I know about his life. A few basic names and dates, but not much else.
He was born Frank Erwin Claycomb on 6 May 1857 in Warren county, Illinois. His death certificate gives a birth year of 1855, but the early censuses are pretty clear that 1857 is more accurate. His parents were Sarah Ann Goddard and George Washington Claycomb.
He had an older sister Laura born about 1852 (she later married Patrick H. Shelton). He also had an older brother Albert R. who was born in 1853 and died in 1860. And Frank had a younger sister, Alta May, born in 1865 who never married.
As far as I know he lived in Warren county until a few years after his marriage.
On 27 December 1882 Frank E. Claycomb, age 27, married Anna Townsend, age 18, in Sycamore, Illinois.
Part 2 can be seen here.