Una Belle Townsend is an award-winning teacher and author. She was born and raised in Marshall, Texas, but moved to Oklahoma after she got married. Intrigued by the state’s history, she was inspired to become a children’s book author.
Her first children’s picture book, Grady’s in the Silo, is based on an actual event that occurred in 1949; it tells the humorous true story of a cow who mysteriously finds herself stuck in a silo and must depend on help from around the world in order to get out of the tricky situation. The book received the 2004 Oklahoma Book Award and was a 2004 IRA/CBC Children’s Choice selection. Her third book, Oklahoma Land Run, is based on the dramatic opening of two million acres of land in Oklahoma on April 22, 1889, and was published in time for the 120th anniversary.
Townsend has won a variety of writing and teaching awards, among them the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year and Oklahoma Celebration of Reading best teacher’s essay. She has three times been named the Teacher of the Year at Riverside Elementary in El Reno, Oklahoma, where she works as a library media specialist/Title I reading teacher. In 1999, she was a winner in the Teacher’s Essay contest at the Oklahoma Celebration of Reading. As a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Townsend wrote an article on women’s safety, which was published in an issue of the sorority magazine, The Jonquil.
Townsend received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from East Texas Baptist College (now known as East Texas Baptist University). She continued her education and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Stephen F. Austin State University.
She lives in Yukon, Oklahoma, with her husband.