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Lawrence, Luther W.

Born: 1808-04-19 Chenango County, New York

Died: 1886-07-25 Boone County, Illinois

Flourished: Boone County, Illinois

Luther W. Lawrence was a itinerant preacher, state legislator, county government official, and circuit judge. He came to Illinois from New York in 1836 and settled in Bonus Township in Boone County. He was a travelling Baptist preacher in the region for twenty-five years, and in 1841 he organized and constructed the area’s first school. Lawrence represented Boone County in the Illinois House of Representatives, 1855 to 1858 and 1863 to 1864, was a Boone County supervisor in 1860, 1861, and 1865, and in 1856 was a Boone County delegate to the Illinois Anti-Nebraska Convention. In 1850, he owned real estate valued at $1,600 and ten years later he possessed $4,500 in real estate and $1,100 in personal property. In 1865, Lawrence won election as judge of the Boone County Circuit Court, a position he held for twelve years. Lawrence married Elvira Chamberlain in 1829 and the pair had seven children.

The Past and Present of Boone County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 287, 307, 324, 380; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Boone County, IL, 46; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Boone County, IL, 158; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 221, 222, 225; Ezra M. Prince, ed., Meeting of May 29, 1900 Commemorative of the Convention of May 29, 1856 That Organized the Republican Party in the State of Illinois, vol. 3 of Transactions of the McLean County Historical Society (Bloomington, IL: Pantagraph, 1900), 149; The Belvidere Standard (IL), 28 July 1886, 8:2; Gravestone, Lawrenceville Cemetery, Boone County, IL.