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Mary Katherine Campbell Townley

Miss America 1922 and 1923

When I finally broke the brick wall to get past my great great grandfather George Scott Campbell, I found a distant cousin, Scott from Melbourne, Florida. Scott was a bit older than my mom and had great stories and memories of the family. He also shared an interest in genealogy and shared several tidbits of information that he had accumulated over the years. Many of the pieces of the puzzle that Scott was missing, I was able to research and this lead to finding much more Campbell information and distant cousins.

One of the interesting items that Scott shared with me was the notion that we were "kin" to Mary Katherine Campbell, a 2 time Miss America winner. Over the past couple of years, I have pieced together some information on Mary Katherine Campbell Townsley but didn't really find enough information.

Recently, an antique dealer contacted me. It seems that he has one of the trophies (loving cups) that she won in the beauty contest. The dealer was very interested in finding out the rest of the story. How had this historical family heirloom managed to be displaced from Mary Katherine and where is the other trophy for her second win?

Certainly, I am extremely grateful that I was contacted and this has renewed my desire to find more information on my beautiful distant cousin - Mary Katherine!

I am listing many tidbits of information in hopes that someone can help me connect the dots, or tree banches and find more information on Miss America and help solve the mystery!

E-Mail dated July 2008

Subject: Miss America Cup 1922 Re: Mary Katherine Campbell

Dear Pat:

This Miss America Cup was found in an antique store in Jacksonville, Florida some 35 or 40 years ago by a local attorney (now deceased) who lived and practiced here in Douglas, Georgia. Douglas is about 100 miles northwest of Jacksonville. His wife (now deceased) traded the cup, to a friend of mine, for a furniture repair. My wife and I own an antique store here in Douglas.

I have been trying to find out why or how this cup is not in the possession of MKC's family. How did the cup get into an old antique store in Jacksonville, FL? She was married to a DuPont executive, there is a DuPont retirement area in Jacksonville may be a connection. It looks like it may have been in a fire.

I have asked the Delaware, Ohio Gazette for help but they did not seem to care. Also I asked the Columbus, Ohio Historical Society for help and they also are not interested. I think they think the cup is some kind of fake. This cup is no fake. It would take more money than it is now worth to create a fake. Anyone who wishes to examine this cup is welcome to do so. Do you know how this cup left Mary's possession? Also we would like to know what happened to the 1923 cup. If you know anything please let me know.

Thank you, Rodney

Facts and timeline for Mary Kathrine Campbell Townsley

  • source: California Death Index
  • Born 9 May 1905, Ohio
  • Died 7 June 1990, San Francisco, California
  • Mother's maiden name: Edwards

Cemetery Information - Oak Grove Cemetery

  • source: Findagrave.com, Internment.net Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
  • Townley, Frederick Stanton, b. 11/18/1903, d. 04/28/1987 mother's maiden name: DuPont
  • Townley, M.C., no dates (who is this?)
  • Townley, Mary Katherine, b. 05/09/1905, d. 06/07/1990, Father: Herman Rhodes Campbell, Mother: Estelle Edwards
  • Campbell, Herman Rhodes, (her father) b. 03/01/1875, d. 10/21/1941, Father: Franklin L. Campbell, Mother: Emma D. Rhodes
  • Campbell, Estelle, (her mother) b. 1878 d. 4/11/1927
  • Rhodes, Emma Daisy (her paternal grandmother) born: 1854 died: 5/11/1927, Father: Dudley Woodbridge Rhodes, Mother: Marcia Rhodes

Fredrick Townley, her husband

  • source: California Death Index
  • Social Security #: 164019145
  • born: 18 Nov 1903 New York
  • died: 28 Apr 1987 San Francisco
  • Mother's Maiden Name: Stanton

Mary C Townley, Could this be the M.C. Townley?

  • source: California Death Index
  • Social Security #: 549227117
  • Birth: 23 Jun 1886, Ohio
  • Death: 6 Aug 1963, San Francisco, California
Mary Katherine Campbell, Miss America 1922

Other Details

I also found: Mary Katherine Campbell, an Ohio girl, was the only woman to win the Miss America title twice in 1922 and 1923. She lied about her age by a year to enter the pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She told everyone that she was born in May 1905 but later admitted that she had lied about her age.

Source: http://www.missamerica.org/history/1922.html and 1923.html She became "Miss Columbus" over a field of 170 other women, and proceeded to Atlantic City where the Inter-City competition had grown to include a staggering number of 57 women from around the country. The selection of Miss America had truly become a national event.

It would be the last time in Miss America history where "professional" (model, Dorothy Knapp) and "amateur" (West Philadelphia's Gladys Grenemeyer) winners would be judged as finalists against the "Inter-City" champion (Mary Katherine Campbell) and place as runners-up to the Miss America title.

Mary Katherine was the first high school graduate to win the title, having received her diploma from East High School in February 1922, and entered Ohio State University as an Art Major immediately after her selection as Miss America. She would also attended Ohio Wesleyan. .. She later returned to school and cared for her mother. She married Frederick Townley, a DuPont executive, and lived a quiet life until her death in 1990.

Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Fred S Townley and Mary Townley sailed on the Queen of Bermuda from Hamilton, Bermuda to New York City, arriving 14 August 1933.

Census Records

1910 Franklin County, Ohio
Name: Herman R Campbell
Age in 1910: 35
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1875
Birthplace: Ohio
Relation to Head of House: Head
Father's Birth Place: Ohio
Mother's Birth Place: Ohio
Spouse's Name: Estella M
Home in 1910: Columbus Ward 4, Franklin, Ohio
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Herman R Campbell 35
Estella M Campbell 32
Mary K Campbell 1
Kate Duman 53 servant

1920 Franklin County, Ohio
Name: Herman P Campbell
Home in 1920: Columbus Ward 4, Franklin, Ohio
Age: 41 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Birthplace: Ohio
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Stella M
Father's Birth Place: Ohio
Mother's Birth Place: Ohio
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Own
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Herman P Campbell 41
Stella M Campbell 39
Mary K Campbell 13

1930 Franklin County, Ohio Name: Herman R Campbell
Home in 1930: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio
Age: 53
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1877
Birthplace: Ohio
Relation to Head of House: Head
Race: White
Herman R Campbell 53
Mary K Campbell 23 daughter
Kate Wyman 75, servant

New Jersey 1910
Name: Stanton Townley
Age in 1910: 6
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1904
Birthplace: New York
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father's Name: Frederick F
Father's Birth Place: England
Mother's Name: Gertrude
Mother's Birth Place: Nevada
Home in 1910: Newark Ward 11, Essex, New Jersey
Household Members: Name Age
Frederick F Townley 41, head of household, born England
Gertrude Townley 30, wife, born Nevada, father born NY, mother born Mass.
Stanton Townley 6, son
Raymond Townley 4, son
James Townley 79, father

New Jersey 1920
1920 Census Record for Name: Stanton F Townley
Home in 1920: Newark Ward 11, Essex, New Jersey
Age: 16 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1904
Birthplace: New York
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father's Name: Frederick L
Father's Birth Place: England
Mother's Name: Gertrude M
Mother's Birth Place: Nevada
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Frederick L Townley 48
Gertrude M Townley 40
Stanton F Townley 16
Raymond A Townley 14
Harriett A Burnley 43

1930 New Jersey
Name: Fred Townley
Home in 1930: Newark, Essex, New Jersey
Age: 27
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1903
Relation to Head of House: Son
Parent's Name: Gertrude W
Household Members: Name Age
Gertrude W Townley 50 head of household, widow
Fred Townley 27
Raymond Townley 25

1880 Nevada Census, Frederick Stanton Townley's Mother was Gertrude
Name: Wm. C. Stanton
Home in 1880: Virginia City, Storey, Nevada
Age: 35
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: New York
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse's Name: Emma E.
Father's birthplace: New Jersey
Mother's Name: Aurilla
Mother's birthplace: New York
Occupation: Works In Mine
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Household Members: Name Age
Wm. C. Stanton 35
Emma E. Stanton 23
Gertrude M. Stanton 1
Aurilla Stanton 59 mother born in England, widowed

1900 New York Census
Name: Elizabeth Stanton
Home in 1900: Manhattan, New York, New York
Age: 42
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1858
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Race: White
Household Members: Name Age
Elizabeth Stanton 42 widow
Gertrude Stanton 21 daughter born Nevada
Hattie A Stanton 19 daughter
Earle A Stanton 17 son
Herbert Stanton 14 son

Wishlist

  • Obits for Mary Katherine (San Jose Mercury News (CA) - June 23, 1990) and her husband
  • Location of the other cup / trophy
  • Who is the MC Campbell listed on the tombstone?

Campbell Home
Direct Line:
Joseph
James Raymond
George Scott
Frances

Aunts, Uncles
Estella
(George) Scott
(James) Raymond
William

Rest of the family
Stella 1859 - 1939
Ruby
S Verdi
Carl Pufalt Family
Edna Grunewald

Unsure connections
Mary Katherine Campbell Townley Miss America Twice!

Vitals
Census
Deaths
Obits
Marriages
Land / Deeds