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Maurice Clifford Townsend collection

Identifier: L375

Scope and Contents

The collection consists largely of Maurice Clifford Townsend's speeches from 1936 to 1943. The 1936 speech was created during the gubernatorial campaign, the 1937-1941 speeches were made during his term in office and the 1943 speeches while he was an official of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also included is a small amount of biographical material.

There is also an oversize portrait of Townsend circa 1937-1941 (B065).

An item-level description is available upon request.


  • 1936-1943


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Maurice Clifford Townsend was Indiana's thirty-fifth governor, born in Blackford County, Indiana, on August 11, 1884. His early education was attained in the Blackford County public school system. After he graduated from Marian College in 1907, Townsend established careers in farming and teaching. He served as superintendent of the Blackford County schools from 1909 to 1919, and was named the educational director of the Indiana Farm Bureau in 1929.

Townsend entered politics in 1923, serving as a member to the Indiana House of Representatives. He also served as Indiana's lieutenant governor from 1933-1937. Townsend won the 1936 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor's office on January 11, 1937. During his tenure, the state division of labor was established, the state department of financial institutions was sanctioned, a firemen's pension was authorized in several large cities, drivers' license examinations became a required law, and a flood disaster program that earned national acclaim was initiated during the state's 1937 flood.

After Townsend left office on January 13, 1941, he served as director of the Office of Agricultural War Relations from 1941 to 1942. He also served as administrator of the Agricultural Conservation and Adjustment Administration from 1942 to 1943, and was the director of the Food Production Administration in 1943. Townsend retired from political life after an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1946. Governor M. Clifford Townsend died on November 11, 1954, and was buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Hartford City, Indiana.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, vol. 1. Westport, CT; Meckler Books, 1978.


0.63 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 small oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Fred G. Rivers on 1939/02/09 and Cecil Beeson during 1972.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/02/23 by Patrick Ridout. EAD finding aid created 2016/02/23 by Patrick Ridout.
Maurice Clifford Townsend collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.