FRANK L. TOWNSEND AND PAULINE
Frank Townsend of
Michigan walked into the Elliott community carrying his carpenter
tools. East of town, he turned south at the Plowman school corner,
and soon came to the J. F. DeWitt mail box. He asked if they needed
a hired man or someone to fix things. They did. Two weeks later they
and their new hired man had dinner at W. L. DeWitt’s where Pauline
was living while teaching the DeWitt school. The rest is history!
Love, devotion, and a life time of helping both families every way
they could as Uncle Frank and Auntie Pauline to the DeWitt children
of both families.
Frank Loren born 1868 in
the Galesburg, Michigan area, died 9 Feb. 1944 at Tulsa, Oklahoma.
His wife, Pauline Tyler, was born 21 April 1870 at Ottumwa, Ia. to
T. D. and Sarah Ann (Wall) Tyler. She died 30 Nov. 1957 at Tulsa.
Both are buried there in the Rose Hill Mausoleum. Frank built many
houses in Tulsa, a large Hotel, garage and a large apartment house –
all of which they owned, decorated, and furnished then sold to build
again. In the Elliott area, he built the east barn on the W. L.
DeWitt farm before 1900; and later spent 10 years there with niece
Maude to salvage the Tyler-DeWitt home place after Till’s death.
Frank and Pauline were
married 3 Oct. 1900 at Red Oak, Iowa, and left that afternoon by
train for Lamont, Okla. where they rented a farm. After five years
of heat, no rain, and no crops, Frank again with hammer and saw, and
Pauline with her paint box and canvasses, moved to Tulsa in 1905.
Their first home there was a little brown barn remodeled into a one
room home. Frank found a job as a carpenter, and Pauline, Tulsa’s
first professionally trained artist, sold her paintings by calling
house to house on the more affluent newcomers.
Pauline, a student in
Simpson College’s first Art Class in 1891, was there two years. Next
to her easel was George Washington Carver’s. Pauline, in Who’s Who
of Iowa Artists, in 1893 taught Art and Penmanship at Ames, Ia., and
later in the DeWitt school near Elliott. In 1925 at the age of 55
she went back to Art School at Saugatuck, Michigan; and in 1932-33
she studied under Grant Wood at Stone City, Ia. He chose her
paintings for exhibit at the Omaha Art Gallery.
Her paintings are in many
Iowa and Tulsa homes; at Simpson College, the Tulsa YMCA and
University. Three of the more important ones are in the Presbyterian
Church at Tulsa. She was chosen as THE Oklahoma Artist in 1957 for
her paintings of over 50 years and was given a one-man showing of
her work at the Philbrook Art Museum. She was still painting at the
time of her death at age 87, leaving one unfinished. Her favorite
paintings, 1891-1957, not promised to others, are in the home of her
niece, Dorothy, in Oklahoma City.
Artist, art teacher,
poet, seamstress, interior decorator, she made every hour count. Her
advice-don’t just stand and don’t walk empty
~ Dorothy DeWitt Wilkinson