TOWNS, Essie Mae

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

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Last Name
Given Names
Essie Mae
Better known as
Date of Birth
Age at Death
Place of Birth
Wewaka (likely Wewoka), Oklahoma
Family Tree
Birth Mother
Birth Father
Non-Temple Relatives
Body Identification Number
Burial Location
Remains claimed by next of kin; burial location unknown
Source of Death Information
House Foreign Affairs Committee report; FBI document 89-4286-1302 (prepared 12/78)
Entry into Guyana
Residence (US)
Los Angeles, California 90029
Residence (JT)
Cottage 09
Occupation in U.S./Skills, Talents & Interests
domestic (RYMUR 89-4286-X-5-a-26aa); farming (PT occupation record); sewing, piece quilts, cleaning (RYMUR 89-4286-E-2-A-1ii)
Occupation in Jonestown (Temple Records)
Letter writing (Correspondence for Life) (RYMUR 89-4286-E-2-A-1hh)
Jonestown Roles (FBI Records)
Government Income
PT occupation record spells last name "Townes"; passport name above
“I remember Essie Mae as well-educated and articulate, and in Jonestown she did letter-writing, specifically "Correspondence to Life." I don't know what it means, but hopefully it indicates there will be an oral history for her in the California Historical Society collection donated to them several years ago, but not yet available to us as they are awaiting "processing." Although there are no remembrances on her page, there are relatives somewhere, probably more than one, who miss her still, but do not know of the existence of the online Memorial Site.” - Kathryn Barbour

“Several years ago I worked for a company that was visited by one of our clients' corporate managers. My boss knew that I was a PT survivor but I was horrified that she blurted it out to the client. (I only tell people after I've known them for a while). The look on the clients face was one of shock.. I thought, oh no why did my boss open her mouth?!! What happened next, I believe was a kiss from heaven! The client said her Aunt Essie Mae died in JT and no one in the family had a photo of her. She asked if I knew her personally. I said the name sounded familiar but could not picture her face. Then she said the clincher..... She said she always wore a ribbon or bow in her hair!!! OMG... Yes I knew your precious Aunt! I then told her I had a priceless gift for her! I went into the manager's office who had a color printer. I pulled up the Alternative Considerations web site and printed off a photo of her sweet Aunt Essie Mae!!! We hugged and shared tears of sadness and bittersweet joy! I'm eternally grateful to Mac and Rebecca Moore for all the time and effort they have put into the AC site!! In this case, it is was enabled me to bless Essie Mae's family with a photo of her!! Rest in sweet peace Sweet Essie Mae! Your family love and misses you so much!! --” - Dianne Scheid