Charles Arnette Towne
Towne (c. 1920)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th district
In office
March 4, 1905 - March 3, 1907
Preceded byIra E. Rider
Succeeded byWilliam Willett Jr.
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
December 5, 1900 – January 28, 1901
Appointed byJohn Lind
Preceded byCushman Davis
Succeeded byMoses E. Clapp
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1895 - March 3, 1897
Preceded byMelvin Baldwin
Succeeded byRobert P. Morris
Personal details
Born(1858-11-21)November 21, 1858
near Pontiac, Michigan, U.S.
DiedOctober 22, 1928(1928-10-22) (aged 69)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Resting placeEvergreen Cemetery
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Other political
Republican (before 1896)
Democratic (after 1896)
Maude Irene Wiley
(m. 1887)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

Charles Arnette Towne (November 21, 1858 – October 22, 1928) was an American politician. He represented Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1895 to 1897 and in the U.S. Senate from 1900 to 1901. He also represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1905 to 1907. He was the last Democrat senator from Minnesota, before the state's Democratic Party merged with the Farmer-Labor Party to form the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party.

Early life

Charles Arnette Towne was born on November 21, 1858, near Pontiac, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan.[1][2] He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1885.[1]


Towne began practicing law in Marquette, Michigan, in 1886. He moved to Duluth, Minnesota, in 1890.[2][1] Towne served in the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota as a Republican in the 54th congress.[1] Towne also served in the United States Senate in the 56th congress, from Minnesota as a Democrat following the death of Cushman K. Davis. Towne was appointed to the Senate by Governor John Lind to fill the vacancy, and served from December 5, 1900, to January 28, 1901, when the elected replacement took office. Towne represented Minnesota in the House from March 4, 1895, to March 3, 1897.[1] He switched parties in 1896 due to the free silver movement.[3] He ran for re-election in 1896 as an Independent and lost. In 1900, he declined the nomination for Vice President on the People's Party ticket.[1][2]

Towne moved to New York City in 1901. He worked for the law firm Towne and Spellman at 115 Broadway in New York City.[2] He was elected as a Democrat and served as a U.S. Representative in the 59th congress for the state of New York from March 4, 1905, to March 3, 1907.[2][1] He was counsel to the emperor of Korea in 1907.[2]

In December 1915, he and Benjamin F. Spellman represented L. Lawrence Weber as the appellant before the Supreme Court of the United States in the Weber v. Freed case concerning boxing match film distribution. The appeal was denied.[4]

Personal life

Towne married Maude Irene Wiley of Lansing, Michigan, on April 20, 1887.[2]

Towne lived at 790 Riverside Drive when he lived in New York City.[2] Towne traveled to Tucson, Arizona, following an attack of bronchitis in October 1920. He did not move there until 1926.[2] He lived at the Santa Rita hotel, moved to the Desert Sanitorium and later moved into a home near Tucson.[2]

Towne died of pneumonia in Tucson on October 22, 1928. He became ill while on tour speaking for Al Smith in Huron, South Dakota. Following hospitalization at Southern Methodist Hospital in Tucson, he died.[1][2] He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Towne, Charles Arnette". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Senator Towne Dies Suddenly on Return Here". Arizona Daily Star. October 23, 1928. p. 1. Retrieved April 15, 2023 – via access icon
  3. ^ "Towne Death Recalls Noted State Career". The Minneapolis Morning Tribune. October 24, 1928. p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2023 – via access icon
  4. ^ "Weber v. Freed, 239 U.S. 325 (1915)". Retrieved April 15, 2023.