Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
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Earl C. Townsend Jr.




Central States Archaeological Societies member

Earl C. Townsend, Jr. 92, was born on November 9, 1914 in Indianapolis to Earl C. Townsend, Sr. and Besse (Kuhn)Townsend.

Over the course of his 92 years, he was a trial lawyer, a collector of Indian relics, automobiles, and fine art. He was a basketball star in high school and college, the first television announcer for the Indianapolis 500, a Big Ten basketball referee, and a composer and actor. Mr. Townsend worked as a trial lawyer with his brother, John, at the downtown Indianapolis law firm, Townsend and Townsend, which they established in 1940 upon their graduation from the University of Michigan Law School.

He served as a senior partner there from 1941 to present. He loved to work in his yard, hunt, fish and vacation during the summer at his cottage in Michigan. He was a pioneer in the field of representing injured people during his long and illustrious legal career.

One of Townsend's passions led him to accomplish writing a 740-page book entitled Birdstones of the North American Indian, as well as having one of the largest and best collections of prehistoric stone Indian artifacts. This effort was acknowledged by the Black River-Swan Creek Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, who made him an honorary chief in 1971. He was given the name of Senee Pen Eshee Na Na, which means "Birdstone Man".

Mr. Townsend attended DePauw University, and graduated from the University of Michigan. He was a member of the Indiana Bar and Michigan Bar, and served on the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court of Indiana, Virginia, Connecticut, and Michigan. He served as the Marion County Deputy Prosecutor from 1942-1944, and had been a radio-TV announcer on WIRE, WFBM, and WFBM-TV.

Mr. Townsend had been a lecturer of trial tactics at Notre Dame University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. He was chairman of faculty of seminars on personal injury trials at Indiana University School of Law, Notre Dame School of Law, and Valparaiso School of Law. Mr. Townsend had served as a member of the Committee to Revise Indiana Supreme Court Pattern Jury Instructions. He had been a lecturer at the Trial Lawyers Institute and counsel to the attorney general from 1988-1992, and also served as the editor of the American Association of Trial Lawyers American Journal from 1964-1988. He contributed articles to legal and archeological journals. Mr. Townsend was the composer of a waltz entitled, "Moon of Halloween". He had served as a trustee of Cathedral High School, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indiana and Western Art, the Cale J. Holder Scholarship Fund, and the Indiana University Law School. Mr. Townsend was also a life trustee, member of the board of directors, member of the financial and building committees of the Indianapolis Museum of Art; a life trustee of the Indiana State Museum; founder and director of the Meridian Street Foundation; member of the Dean's Counsel at Indiana University; founder and life fellow of the Roscoe PoundAmerican Trial Lawyers Foundation at Harvard University; a fellow of the Methodist Hospital Foundation, and recipient of the Indiana University Writers Conference Award in 1960. He also received the Hanson H. Anderson medal of honor from Arsenal Technical High School in 1971. and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He was named to Council of Sagamores of the Wabash in 1969, and was named a Rector Scholar in 1934. Mr. Townsend was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. He was a fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation, where he was a life trustee and received a distinguished fellow award; a member of the International Society of Barristers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was also a member of the ATLA, ABA, ASCAP, the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Bar Association of the 7th Federal Circuit, 34th Judicial Circuit Bar Association, the Roscommon County Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, where he received the Champion of Justice Award in 1989, the American Judicature Society, the American Arbitration Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, and the Indiana State Bar Association. He was also a member of the Genuine Indian Relic Society, the Trowel and Brush Society, the Marion CountyIndianapolis Historical Society, the Indiana Historical Society, the Society of Mayflower Descendents, the Columbia Club, the University of Michigan Presidents Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the Players Club, and the University of Michigan Victors Club. Mr. Townsend was also a Shriner, 33 degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite, Phi Kappa Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was active in the Republican Party, and was also a member of Meridian Street United Methodist Church.

Mr. Townsend was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Emily (Macnab) Townsend, and his brother, John F. Townsend. He is survived by his five children, Starr Emily Townsend, Vicki Townsend, Julia Dunn (Edward Goodrich Dunn, Jr.), Earl C. Towsend III (Dr. Nancy Johnson), and Clyde Townsend (Mrs. Rebecca Townsend) and 15 grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank all of their father's caregivers for all of the care and support other the years. HAIL TO THE VICTORS! Family and friends are invited to attend funeral services on Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 1 p.m. at Meridian Street United Methodist Church, 5500 N. Meridian Street. Rev. Anne M. Rosebrock will officiate. Private burial will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Arsenal Technical High School, DePauw University, or Meridian Street United Methodist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Center—Broad Ripple.


Earl Townsend Jr October 2001
Earl C. Townsend
Earl C. Townsend