Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 104] of rugged New England stock, but now one of the foremost men of the number who have made Lawrence County famous for its fine farms and excellent agricultural products, has lived in Plain Grove township for the fifty-six years past. He is a man who has seen the Nation rise exhausted from a victorious battlefield, on which our present liberties were won, and with a renewal of vigor start in on a fresh struggle with the forces of nature, a struggle which to-day is proven successful by the happy lives of eighty millions of people.

Mr. Lawrence was born in Alstead, N. H., April 16, 1806. His paternal grandfather was a native born Englishman, and by calling, a Congregational minister. He followed this service all the days of his life, and did a world of good among the hardy sons of the Granite State, where he made his home. Joseph Lawrence, the father of James M. Lawrence, our subject, was born at Alstead, and obtained his training for the battles of life in the schools of that section. He was united in marriage with Lois Mann, and was busied all the active part of his life in tilling the soil, not an easy task on the rocky hills of his native State. Nevertheless, he was prospered, for he left behind him a record for well-doing and good management that made the name of Lawrence respected far and wide in the eastern home. Three children made up the family. They were: Franklin; Lucinda; and James M., our subject. Lucinda, the daughter, became the wife of Dr. Stein of Grove City, and they have three childrenóJosephine, Mary and Laura. The family of Joseph Lawrence were, naturally enough, brought up to reverence the teachings of the Congregational Church, and observe its rules of Christian living.

James M. Lawrence, after pursuing a thorough course in the common schools, himself became a teacher, and taught school twenty-two quarters or terms. He followed this calling for about three years until 1838, when he came into Pennsylvania. After a three years' residence in the Keystone State, he bought a farm in Plain Grove, Mercer County, a part which was later set off and is now included in Lawrence County. He owned this place for a number of seasons, then sold it, and purchased another, on which he now lives. This estate was then in great part wild land and very little cultivated. Through his efforts he cleared the land lot by lot and as time passed brought his fields into a most excellent state of cultivation. The farm is adapted to almost any branch of farming, though perhaps it is at its best when devoted to stock and grain raising. Mr. Lawrence is known everywhere as a farmer of the best type, knowing just how to rightly handle every separate acre of his domain. He is far above the ordinary in the matter of intelligence and all around ability; consequently, he is a man whose individuality and force of character have long been felt. Politically, he is a Republican of the more conservative school, and a man whose advice the younger spirits of the party are wont to heed. He has filled the office of county commissioner for three years, and for thirty-six years has satisfactorily discharged the duties of justice of the peace. With many other useful acquisitions, he understands surveying, and it is very close guessing to say that he has probably done more surveying than any other man in Lawrence County.

In 1844, Mr. Lawrence was married to Sarah Chandler of Windhall, Vt., and to them three children were born: Asher; Carl; and Abigail, deceased. Asher Lawrence took for his wife Emma Frances of Crawford Co., Pa.; they now live in the State of Missouri and have three childrenóJames F., Betty B., and Rena. Carl Lawrence married Mary Barber of North Liberty, and they have a family that consists of Charles W., Sadie C., James S., John H., Harry H., Ernest B., Frank E., Raymond, and Mary. Mrs. Sarah Lawrence, the first wife of our subject, passed from this world in 1874 at the age of sixty-seven. Mr. Lawrence entered into a second union with Margaret Chandler in 1877 she was a daughter of Samuel T. and Mary A. (Dennison) Chandler of Slippery Rock. Four children have resulted from this union, as follows: Hiram C.; Harriet A.; Ora M.; and George E. Mr. Lawrence has reared his family beneath the shadow of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Lawrence his life long has been a man who knew about many interests besides that of his chosen vocation. He cared for an extensive iron business which was at one time conducted in the vicinity of Princeton, Slippery Rock township, at a place called Rose Point, and has at one time and another been engaged in various industries, which have tended toward the development of this section. He has always been wide-awake to the resources of the country, and has always been active in their development. He also served as civil engineer on public works for two and a half years.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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