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|TOWNSEND FOR GOVERNOR
Black and white photograph of a man's head and shoulders with black text above and below
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ST. LOUIS BUTTON CO. MFGS ST. LOUIS, MO
Maurice Clifford Townsend (1884–1954) served as the Governor of Indiana from 1937 to 1941. Prior to his role as Governor, Townsend served as a school superintendent and the Lieutenant Governor. "Cliff" Townsend was credited with having all school buses painted yellow for instant identification. At the 1936 Democratic state convention, Townsend's mother placed his name in nomination for governor. The convention was bitterly divided between three candidates and a fist-fight broke out before the final vote took place. In the general election Townsend defeated Republican, Raymond Springer by over 180,000 votes.
Shortly after Townsend’s inauguration, the Midwest was engulfed in torrential rains which caused the Ohio River to rise 19 feet above flood stage in Indiana. The Great Flood of 1937 left 100 million people homeless, and 385 dead. Townsend was praised by National Relief Administrator, Harry Hopkins for his administration of resources during the disaster. Townsend retired from politics after an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1946.