Friday, June 16, 2017

Grandpa Lawry

My Grandpa Lawry, George W. Lawry, was born near Culpepper, Fauquier County, Virginia on March 4, 1839. He came to Missouri with his parents as a small boy, and several years later he came to Kansas.

There is a tintype picture of Grandpa Lawry, his wife, and four children, estimated to have been made about 1870. William, Della, one other daughter and a baby are shown. There were eight children and five of them died in infancy. Apparently, the baby died soon after the picture was made since only William and two daughters lived to be adults. The girls became Mrs. R. E. Demsey and Mrs. Della CaII. Grandpa's wife, Mary, scratched her face off the picture in a fit of anger.

Apparently, they had a stormy marriage which ended sometime before 1886. There is a rumor in the family that Grandpa did not provide well for his family.

Grandpa was a teamster in the Kansas State Militia during the Civil War. He hauled supplies to southern Missouri for the Union Army. We have a letter dated March 22, 1899, informing him that the Kansas State Militia was never mustered into the United States service and therefore he was not entitled to a pension.

Grandpa lost his eyesight in 1888 when Aunt Sadie was only a year old. Oscar Burrows, Nannie Helms Burrows' son, spent a lot of time with Grandpa Lawry when Oscar was a smalI boy, and Grandpa talked a lot to him. When he was telling a story, he would say "sez I" and"sez E" instead of "I said," and “he said." Grandpa spent a lot of time sawing and splitting wood. Oscar says Grandpa "sharpened" on his saw a lot, but being blind at that time; he made the saw duller instead of sharper.

Before Grandpa lost his eyesight completely, he quarried limestone rocks by hand and laid stone fences around their feed lots. Several years later Grandma sold many of the rocks to be crushed for paving roads. Enough of the rock walls were left for me and some of the other grandchildren to play on when we were small.

He was saved in a meeting held by G. W. Herrell and wife at Bronson, Kansas in 1905. During his illness he many times said he was ready to go. He died February 25, 1923.

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