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Abel Park Lawrence
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Birth: May 1, 1832
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: 1918
Beaver Dam
Dodge County
Wisconsin, USA

s/o Abel & Nancy J. (Jewett) Lawrence

h/o Rachel Rosilla (Smith) Lawrence

f/o Rachel Lawrence, Frank E. Lawrence, Mary Ella (Lawrence) Boylan, Lula M. (Lawrence) Wilson, Carrie (Lawrence) Wilson


"Dodge County, Wisconsin, Past & Present," S. J. Clark Publishing Co., Chicago, 1913, Volume ll, pages 215-217


Abel Park Lawrence is one of the pioneer business men of Beaver Dam and since 1854 has been connected with the various commercial enterprises in this city. He established one of the first grocery stores and has been successful as a general merchant, giving his attention at the present time to fire insurance and gardening. He is well and favorably known in the city in which he has resided since he was twenty-two years of age and is recognized as a man of honorable and straightforward standards, uniform courtesy and unusual business intelligence. He was born in Pepperell, Massachusetts, May 1, 1832, and is a son of Abel and Nancy (Jewett) Lawrence, natives of that section. His father died in the state in which he was born and the mother passed away in Beaver Dam.

Abel Lawrence was the younger in a family of two children. He was educated in the district schools of New England and attended an academy in Massachusetts for four terms. His father died when our subject was only ten years of age, and he remained with his mother until he was twenty-two years of age, coming to Wisconsin in 1854 and settling in Beaver Dam, where he worked as a clerk for Hoyt and Smith, general merchants of that city. He was engaged in this capacity for only a short time, resigning his position in order to teach school. After being engaged for four months in this occupation he returned to his former position and clerked until he returned to Massachusetts, where he remained until April, of the following year. He then came back to Beaver Dam and in 1856 established a grocery store. He carried a full line of staple and fancy goods and did not sell intoxicating liquors. He was successful and his business increased yearly until 1863, when his building was destroyed by fire. He then erected a brick building, adding a general merchandise department to his enterprise, which he conducted along modern and progressive lines until 1884. In that year he disposed of his interests to Shepard & McFadden and went to South Dakota, where he took up one hundred and sixty acres of government land with the intention of following farming. In October of the same year, however, he was accidentally wounded by bird shot and was disabled for three years. In the meantime he had returned to Beaver Dam and established himself in the insurance business, in which line he was active and successful for two years. In 1893 he opened another grocery store upon Spring street and this enterprise he conducted until 1909, when he sold out and engaged in his present line of occupation, writing fire insurance. He also does gardening on a small scale. He is one of the well known and popular residents of Beaver Dam and is living in a house at No. 125 North Third street (?), which he erected in 1858. He is practically retired and is giving his time to the management of his business interests.

On December 28, 1857, Mr. Lawrence was united in marriage to Miss Rachel R. Smith, a daughter of Edward and Anna (Schrigler) Smith, natives of Derbyshire, England. They came to America in 1851 and settled in Juneau, Wisconsin, moving later to Waushara county, where they died. Mrs. Lawrence is the fourth in a family of twelve children and was born on the 29th of March, 1839. She and her husband became the parents of five children: Frank E., who is married and has one daughter, who is residing in South Dakota; Mary E., who married Bayard T. Bolan, of South Dakota, by whom she has three children; Lucy M., who became the wife of James Wilson, a native of Florida, residing in Denver, by whom she has five children; Carrie J., who married Arthur Wilson, by whom she has one son; and Rachel, who died in infancy. Mr. Lawrence has given all of his children an excellent education. His three daughters are graduates of the Beaver Dam high school and Ella (?) has taken a special course in painting, for which she has a decided talent. Our subject and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on December 28, 1907, but unfortunately only two of the children were able to be present. He is one of the early settlers in Beaver Dam and his friends are numbered among the representative and highly esteemed citizens of that city. Mr. Lawrence has always been a republican and has voted that ticket in presidential elections since the time when Fremont was a candidate. He served for three years on the board of alderman in Beaver Dam and did excellent and able work. He and his family are devout adherents of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Lawrence is a member of the board of trustees. He takes an active interest in religious affairs and for twenty-one years was superintendent of the Sunday school. His wife belongs to the Ladies Aid Society and held the office of president of that organization for several years. She also belongs to the Eastern Star and to the Rebekahs and was for some time the treasurer of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars. Mr. Lawrence is prominent in fraternal circles of the city, holding membership in the Masonic order and in the Odd Fellows. He is now practically retired from active life and is giving his attention to the supervision of his town property and his eighty acres of farm land outside the city. Upon this he raises fruits and vegetables and is unusually successful as an amateur gardener. For well over a half a century Mr. Lawrence has been identified with the commercial, political and social upbuilding of the city of which he is an honored resident. He is a liberal man, desirous of obtaining his own rights and mindful of those of others, unquestioned in his integrity and honorable in his business and personal life. Upon these qualities he has built up a substantial prosperity and has gained the respect and esteem of his many friends.
Newspaper Article

Beaver Dam Argus, First Week of April 1918

A deal was concluded last week, whereby A. P. Lawrence, pioneer resident and veteran grocer of Beaver Dam, will retire permanently from actual business activity. Mr. Lawrence's retirement follows a period of business activity in this city which dates back to the pioneer days of settlement. He was engaged in the grocery business here in April, 1856. With slight interruption he has continued in this line ever since. Mr. Lawrence is in his eighty-sixth year and is remarkably preserved for one of his years. He first came to this city from Pepperell, Mass., at the age of twenty-two years. He entered the employ of Hoyt & Smith, general merchants, in the capacity of clerk, but was engaged in this capacity only a short time when he resigned his position to take up teaching, which he followed only four months and then returned to his former position. 
Family links: 
  Rachel Rosilla Smith Lawrence (1839 - 1923)
  Frank E Lawrence (1859 - 1940)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakwood Cemetery
Beaver Dam
Dodge County
Wisconsin, USA
Plot: Sec 5
Maintained by: genealogyfever
Originally Created by: Cemetery Walker
Record added: Nov 30, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9993081
Abel Park Lawrence
Added by: Eric
Abel Park Lawrence
Added by: Eric
Abel Park Lawrence
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Diane & John
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