The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Townsend, William
Townsend, William, was born in London in 1827, and emigrated to South Australia in 1853. He was employed as a boot salesman, but ultimately became a leading auctioneer in Adelaide. Having been a lay preacher of the Congregational Church, he entered the Legislative Assembly as member for Onkaparinga. For this constituency he sat till 1871, when he was returned for the Sturt, which he represented till his death. He was Commissioner of Public Works in the Dutton Ministry in July 1863, and Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Hart Government from Sept. to Oct. 1868, and in the Blyth Ministry from Nov. 1871 to Jan. 1872. In 1876 he succeeded Mr. Carr as Chairman of Committees in the Assembly, and held that position till his death, on Oct. 25th, 1882. Mr. Townsend was on several occasions Mayor of Adelaide.