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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Thomas Lawson

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 431 - 432

Thomas Lawson, one of the well-known and highly respected citizens of Sheboygan County, who follows farming on section 23, Lyndon Township, claims England as the land of his nativity. He was born in Lincolnshire, January 4, 1829, and his parents, Robert and Hannah (Auckland) Lawson, were also natives of the same locality. The father, who was born March 29, 1804, was a dealer in coal, and also followed farming. In 1846, he came with his family to America, boarding a sailing-vessel at Liverpool, which after forty-five days dropped anchor in the harbor of New York. During the passage, however, they encountered some very severe storms. By way of Buffalo, the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, they came to Sheboygan County. This was two years before the admission of the State into the Union. The father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild land, upon which was a small log cabin, and began the development of a farm, upon which his son Thomas now resides. The Indians were more numerous than the white settlers, and they would often come to the Lawson home to sell buckskin and beaded articles. Mr. Lawson was a prominent and influential citizen, and served as Supervisor of his township. The Republican party ever found in him a stalwart supporter. He passed away March 25, 1877. His wife, who was bora August 18, 1808, died on the 26th of August, 1892. They were laid side by side in Onion Creek Cemetery, where stands a beautiful monument sacred to their memory.

The Lawson family numbered eleven children as follows: Mrs. Flos; George, who is living retired in Waldo; Charles, a farmer of Waterloo County, Iowa, who is married and has two children; Robert; Emma, who is a school teacher and also teacher of instrumental music; Abraham, a farmer of Lyndon Township; Robert, a leading merchant of Waldo; Thomas, of this biography; Eliza, widow of James Macain; Caroline, widow of James Fairweather; and Mary Ann, wife of Jason Sharp, who lives retired in Sheboygan.

Thomas Lawson was a lad of sixteen when he came with his parents to Wisconsin. Since that time he has lived in Sheboygan County, and has been numbered among its leading agriculturists. He was united in marriage with Mrs. Martha (Douglas) Paddock, who was born in Monroe County, N. Y., January 14, 1823, and was there reared and educated. On the 1st of October, 1851, she married Edward R. Paddock, a native of New York, by whom she had one son and four daughters, three now living: Dora, wife of Robert Lawson, a general merchant of Waldo; Emma, wife of Robert Kennedy, of Sheboygan; and Cora, wife of James Kennedy, an engineer of Spokane Falls, Wash. In 1852, Mr. and Mrs. Paddock came to this county. During the late war he entered the service of his country, and died from exposure. On the 27th of November, 1865, his widow became the wife of Mr. Lawson, and their union was blessed with three sons and two daughters: Anna, wife of Jerry Brown, agent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, at Waldo; Henry T., who was educated in Waldo, and now aids in the labors of the home farm; and Robert A., who is also at home.

The Lawson household is the abode of hospitality, and the latch-string ever hangs out. The members of the family rank high in social circles, and have a host of warm friends throughout the community. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Onion River. Their farm comprises two hundred acres of highly improved land one mile south of Waldo, and its neat and thrifty appearance indicates the enterprise and progressive spirit of the owner. He cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont, and has since been a stalwart advocate of Republican principles. He has led an honorable, upright life, and his word is as good as his bond. One of the leading and representative citizens of Lyndon Township, he well deserves mention in the history of his adopted county.

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