John Lawrence

Photo added by David Goltry

John Lawrence

Kent, England
Death 31 Oct 1886 (aged 85)
Polo, Ogle County, Illinois, USA
Burial Polo, Ogle County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 22007147 · View Source
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The following information comes from "Canada Settlement, Ogle County, Illinois" , published by the Tri-county Press, Polo, Ill. in 1939, as a part of the celebration of the centenary of the coming to Illinois of the Lawrence, Poole, Sanborn, and Slater families form Toronto (Little York), Ontario, Canada. John Lawrence was born in Kent County, England. He came to America in 1818. He spent one year in Philadelphia and Niagara. He worked on the Erie Canal for a short time, and went to Ontario, Canada about 1821, locating north of Toronto, where he engaged in farming. His father, John Lawrence,Sr., went to Illinois with his son and family in 1838. He died there in 1859, at the age of 79. John Lawrence had long been interested in coming to Illinois, of which he had been hearing wonderful stories. He became more interested in coming to Illinois after the "Rebellion of Upper Canada", in which he took part, had failed so disastrously.John and his family, and Schuyler Lunt and his family, left Toronto in the summer of 1838 for Illinois. They drove their teams and household goods to Buffalo, N.Y., then went by boat to Chicago, Ill., then a small village. While on the lakes, they met a man named Kitchen who was returning from New York to the Rock River valley in Illinois where he had staked considerable claim. The two families had been going to the Fox River valley, but thereupon changed their minds. Their new destination was near the settlement of Buffalo Grove in what is now Ogle County, Ill. They arrived in Buffalo Grove in August of 1838. The two families purchased the squatters' rights to the Kitchen claim for $1800. This claim consisted of 800 acres north of the settlement of Buffalo Grove. They moved into two cabins that Kitchen had built on the land. John returned to Canada in the Fall of 1838, and returned to Buffalo Grove in the Spring of 1839 with a brother-in-law. He brought apple seeds and seedlings with him and planted an orchard which still stood in 1900. On June 26, 1839, 24 men, women and children arrived in Buffalo Grove from Canada. Among them were two of Lydia Lawrences' sisters, Susan Sanborn and Nancy Poole, and their families. Scuyler Lunt sold his right in the claim to John Sanborn and moved to a tract, later known as the Jordan Lawrence farm, south of Polo, Ill. John Lawrence sold his claim to William Poole and took a homestead tract south of the school in Canada Settlement. He first built a log cabin on the tract and then a brick house which still stood in 1939.
John Lawrence's obituary said this of him, " Mr. Lawrence was one of those who made old age attractive, for he had learned the art of growing old gracefully. About 1834 he was converted and united with the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canada. When he came to Illinois he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church of Buffalo Grove of which he was a member forty-eight years, one year longer than the organization of the Rock River Conference; most, if not all of that time, he held official positions in the Church. He was one of the first and a very liberal patron of Rock River Seminary at Mt. Morris."
In addition to Susanna, Maria, and Johnson, John and Lydia aso had the following children: Nancy (Philetus) Peck, Mary (James C.) Willims, Jordan )Margaret) Lawrence, and Catherine (Merritt) Culver.
Following is a transcript of a newspaper account, from Dixon, Illinois, of the Golden Anniversary celebration of John and Lydia Johnson Lawrence, in Polo, Illinois, on Thursday, Feb. 14, 1878. The name of the newspaper in which it appeared is unknown. It was, however, transcribed from an original copy of the item. K.W. Larzelere

"The spacious residence of Mr. John Lawrence was last Thursday the scene of a rare and most pleasant occurrence-- the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence. Guests nearly to the number of one hundred thronged its pleasant rooms, while many to whom cards had been sent could not be present. Letters were received the evening before from relatives in England, Canada, Oregon, Nebraska and other places, containing their congratulations, and regrets for inability to be present. The entire day was one of great pleasure and social enjoyment. In the large dining room two long tables groaned beneath the weight of luxuries to which the guests did ample justice ere the day had closed. Conspicuous among the many beautiful cakes that adorned the table was one made by the bride of fifty years ago, bearing on its pure, white enameling the suggestive dates 1828 and 1878, connected by two hearts. When the guests were seated at the table, Rev. J. O. Cramb, in a most elegant speech, presented the bride and groom, in behalf of the assembled friends, the tokens of their regard, consisting of a gold-headed cane, gold-bowed spectacles for each, a bridal ring, gold thimble, and individual gold-lined salt cellars. Rev. J. O. Cramb's address was substantially as follows:' I am requested by these friends to speak to you a few words and present to you a few tokens of their kind regards. This is an extraordinary occasion. It never occurred in your history before. It was never my privilege to participate in a scene like the present. Very few, if any who are here today ever witnessed such an event as is transpiring here now. Not more than one or two such events ever occurred in this township. Fifty years ago you stood before the sacred altar and plighted your faith each to the other, with bright hopes and large anticipations with reference to the future. That future has come and nearly gone; it has brought with it joys and sorrows. You have stood by each other faithfully during all these years-- never faltering or abating your love for each other. Children have been born unto you; together you have watched over and cared for them in their years of helplessness, and marked with eager concern every step of progress that they made as they developed into manhood and womanhood. They have gone from you, some never to return, for with slow and solemn tread you have followed them to the silent grave. You are now growing old, and your trembling limbs need some support, hence you friends have provided you with this cane. And as your eyes are also becoming dim with age, so these glasses have been procured to assist your dimming vision. And I am here to ask you to accept these presents as some faint token of the high esteem with which these friends regard you. And may your last days be peaceful and happy. You have enough of this world's goods to provide for all your coming wants. And you have not forgotten that other preparation which fits you for a noble and happy life hereafter. And may your children and all these friends meet you in that better land, in the great tomorrow."

"The guests then began to refresh the inner man. The same little waiting maid who served the bride and groom with tea fifty years ago today, was present with her services, in the person of Mrs. Poole, sister of Mrs. Lawrence. The day was one that will be long remembered by all present. Mirth and happiness beamed upon every countenance and jokes ran free. A substantial bachelor of over eighty summers was paired with a fascinating widow of fifty. A unanimous feeling prevailed that they should that day be made one, but the officiating clergyman stood out upon a whim and refused to lend his services without the consent of the parents of the venerable bachelor. As the shades of evening were closing around, the guests bade adieu to the kind host and hostess, conscious that they had never spent a more pleasant day than this one, beneath the hospital roof of Mr. and Mrs. John Lawrence.

" Mr. Lawrence was born in the County Kent, England, March 1801, came to Philadelphia in 1817, removed to Canada in 1821, was married to Miss Lidia (sic) Johnson Feb. 14, 1828, in the town of Little York, now the city of Toronto. On the same occasion Mr. Schuyler Lunt, of Polo, was married to Miss Elizabeth Collins.

" In July, 1838, Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Lunt and families emigrated to Buffalo Grove, Ill.(not the present-day-1999- Buffalo Grove). They were the very first of the many Canadians who long since came to this vicinity. It is very rare that two families whose lives have been so closely identified have been enabled to hold their golden weddings within four miles of each other, and to spend the day succeeding in each others' company."

Family Members

Gravesite Details John Lawrence & his wife, Lydia Johnson Lawrence were the first of the pioneers to settle in "Canada Settlement" in Ogle Co., Illinois. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary in 1878 in Polo.



  • Maintained by: Brian DesErmia
  • Originally Created by: Keith Larzelere
  • Added: 7 Oct 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22007147
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Lawrence (11 Mar 1801–31 Oct 1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22007147, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Polo, Ogle County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Brian DesErmia (contributor 47615482) .