Anna Sarah Townsend & Frank Erwin Claycomb – Part 2

Part 1 can be seen here.

Anna and Frank married 27 December 1882 in Sycamore, Illinois and began their married life on a farm near Cameron, Warren county, Illinois.

At some time in her life, probably before her marriage, Anna learned to paint.  And as many of the women of her era did, she copied popular paintings.  At least one still exists – her painting of the Pharoah’s Horses originally done by John Frederick Herring.  She continued painting after her children were born.

anna sarah pharoahs horses

Anna Townsend Claycomb’s painting of Pharoah’s Horses

Their first child, Eleanor Pierce Claycomb, was born 20 August 1884 in Cameron.

She wrote to her brother Frederick Townsend on 13 February 1885.  A curious part of the letter is “Fred, are you aware that I am all of twenty one years old, and Nellie will be six months old, one week from today.  When I get to thinking everything over that happened while I was at school, I don’t see how I could have done so, and I get to crying about it, and I guess Frank thinks I am a goose!  I know it makes him feel badly, because he doesn’t know what I am crying about and thinks I’m not happy.  Dear little Nellie was a God-send if ever there was such a thing…”  I do wonder what that is all about.

eleanor and amos

Eleanor and Amos Claycomb

Frank and Anna’s first son, Amos Townsend Claycomb, was born 29 January 1886.  In another short letter to Fred, she mentions the children.

1886 Nov 8 letter Anna Sarah to Fred Townsend p11886 Nov 8 letter Anna Sarah to Fred Townsend p2 On 21 April 1887 Alta Louise Claycomb was born in Warren county.  She almost always went by the name Louise.  She has aunt Alta on the Claycomb side.

On 25 August 1887, Anna’s father, Amos Townsend.  He was 54 years old.

In 1888 the family moved to Sycamore, Illinois.

George Francis Claycomb was born in Sycamore on 5 June 1889.  That Fall Anna’s health worsened and she went to a sanitorium in California.  Her mother and infant son went with her.  I don’t know how long her mother stayed, but Anna returned in May 1890.

Anna sarah at sanatarium

Anna Claycomb (in hammock) at the sanatorium in California, 1888/9.
Her son George is the infant held on the right.

On 20 March 1892, the Claycomb’s fifth child, Edward Denman, was born in DeKalb.  When he was 19 days old, his mother, Anna Sarah Townsend Claycomb, died.  She was 28 years old.  The other children were Eleanor, 7, Amos, 6, Louise, almost 5, and George, almost 3.

Anna’s Obituary from a Sycamore Illinois newspaper, 1892

No More of Earth

   Mrs. Anna Townsend-Claycomb, wife of Frank E. Claycomb, and daughter of Mrs. E. P. Townsend, died at their home on Friday afternoon., April 8.
Deceased was born near Malta, Ill., on February 9, 1964.  In 1876 when she was twelve years of age, the family removed to the Daniel Pierce farm one mile west of this city.
In 1879 she entered Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., where she remained one year.  It was while there attending school she formed the acquaintance of Mr. Claycomb.  After the year at Lombard University, she attended school one year at Jacksonville, following with a year at the Rockford female seminary.  At each of these schools she acquitted herself with credit and made many friends who mourn her early decease.
She was united in marriage nine years ago last December, and for six years resided with her husband on a farm near Galesburg.  Here the three older children were born.  Three years ago last November, they removed to the farm west of Sycamore.
In the fall of 1889, on account of failing health, she went to California, accompanied by her mother, where she remained until May, 1890.  She returned much improved in health, and remained so till a few days before her death, when her strength failed and death soon came as a welcome messenger.
Besides her husband and five children, she leaves a mother, brother, three sisters, and a large circle of mourning friends.
She entered into church relations with the Sycamore Universalist church ten years ago and was always a most devout and exemplary member.
The funeral was from the house Sunday afternoon, Rev. Dr. White, her old Lombard University Professor, officiating, assisted by Rev. Geo Crum, the pastor.  The interment was by the side of her father, Mr. Amos Townsend, in Elmwood.