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Rankin Family History Project

Charles F. Lawrence


Charles F. Lawrence, a resident of Lithium and founder of that village, is a native of Germany, born in 1836. When eight years old he came with his parents, Henry and Henrietta Lawrence to America.

After living for a time in New Orleans the family came to Missouri, and lived at Jackson, until after the death of the father. They then removed to Fredericktown, where in 1849 the mother died leaving five children, none of whom were grown. Of these five children only three are now alive. They are Henry, a merchant at Doran Mo., the subject of this sketch, and Mary the wife of Judge Adolph Carron of Ste. Genevieve County.

After the death of his mother Charles obtained a position in a store as clerk in Ste. Genevieve, and with the proceeds of his salary began business for himself in 1860 seven miles from that city. During the war he removed his stock of goods to Ste. Genevieve and in 1866 in partnership with his brother, Henry, he engaged in the mercantile and milling business at what is now Lawrenceton. At the end of eight years Charles removed to St. Mary’s and conducted a store in the that town until 1880, when he purchased a tract of land upon which is situated the village of Lithium. There he erected a fine residence on an eminence overlooking the village and the river.

The famous Lithium Spring recently discovered on his land was donated by him to the town in which he has made other liberal donations. It was also through his influence that a post office was established at this place in 1885. He is the owner of a saw and gristmill near the village, which he contemplates converting into a merchant mill. A stock company will be organized and the latest improved machinery put into it.

Mr. Lawrence was married in 1860 to Philomene Carron, and to them have been born nine children: Joseph C., Francis W., Andrew T., who married Rosa Blanford, Mary E., Amos, Maximus, Jules, Florence and Cleveland.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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