Town of Lawrence
From Child's Gazetteer of St. Lawrence County
LAWRENCE(1) was formed from Hopkinton and Brasher, April 21, 1828(2). It lies upon the east border of the county, north of the center, and contains 28,251 acres. Its surface is very level, and the soil is a fertile sandy loam, underlaid by Potsdam sandstone. Its streams are St. Regis and Deer rivers, the former forming its south boundary, and Allen and Trout brooks, tributary to the latter.
In 1870 the town had a population of 2,577, of whom 2,142 were native, 435 foreign, and all white.
During the year ending Sept. 30, 1872, the town contained fifteen school districts and employed the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age was 917; the number attending school, 659; the average attendance, 334; the amount expended for school purposes, $2,862; and the value of school houses and sites, $5,500.
The Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain R. R. extends through the town parallel with and near to the north line.
NORTH LAWRENCE (p.v.) is situated on Deer River and is a station on teh O. & L. C. R. R. In 1870 it had a population of 550. It contains two churches, one hotel, four dry goods stores, two groceries, one hardware, one furniture and one drug stores, three saw mills, one grist mill, three shingle mills, three planing mills, one harness, one marble, three blacksmith, one carriage, one shoe and one milliner shops, and one pail and tub and two sash and blind factories.
LAWRENCEVILLE (p.v.) is situated on Deer River about three miles above North Lawrence, and contains three churches, a flourishing academy, one hotel, a job printing office, a telegraph office, two dry goods and two drug stores, one harness, two shoe, one carriage, two blacksmith, one cooper, one paint and three milliner shops, one grist mill, one saw mill, a starch factory, tannery, and had, in 1870, 350 inhabitants.
NICHOLVILLE(3), (p.v.) situated on St. Regis River, about the center of the south border, and partly in the town of Hopkinton, contains two churches, (Baptist and M. E.) a hotel, a telegraph office, three dry goods, one drug, two grocery, one hardware, one crockery and furniture stores, an undertaking establishment, one harness, two shoe, three blacksmith, one tailor, one tailoress, two carriage and two paint shops, a photograph gallery, one millinery and two dress making establishments, a tannery, grist mill, two circular saw mills, a shingle mill, two sash, door and blind factories, a wool carding and cloth dressing mill, a butter tub factory, a turning shop, two planing mills and 420 inhabitants. The valley of the river at this point is deep and narrow, and the river affords a moderately good water power.
The first settlement was made by a Mr. Brewer, a subagent of the proprietor, who, in the summer of 1801, erected a shanty, and the following summer sold his interest and agency to Samuel Tyler, of Piermont N. H., who, in company with Joseph Tyler, from the same place, Joseph St. Clair, and Avery Sanders, from Middlesex, Vt., Ephraim Martin, from Bradford, Vt., and Abijah Chandler, from Lebanon, N. H., came in the fall of 1806 and selected farms, and moved their families in the next spring. All of them, except Chandler, who settled in the vicinity of Nicholville, and whose wife was the first white woman in town, located in the northern and central parts. In May, 1807, James and Jonathan Pierce, Ira Allen and Sidney Dunton moved in; and in June Jonathan Stevens, Ambrose Lewis and Jonathan Hartwell, the first two with their families, came in. Hartwell moved his family in the following spring. D. C. Bastain and Jonathan, Green and James Saunders settled in July, 1807, and John Howard, Asa Griffin and John Prouty, the same year. The two following years the settlement was largely increased by persons from Vermont and New Hampshire, but all except five families are said to have left during the war which soon followed and most of them never returned. This and the unfavorable condition of the land, which being very level, was, when covered with forests, so swampy as to interpose serious obstacles to the efforts made to reclaim and bring it under cultivation, tended to discourage settlements. The town is now one of the finest agricultural districts in the county. The forests abounded with deer, and that venison was often the only food they had to subsist upon. The substantial growth of the town dates from the opening of the railroad through its lands, to which it gave a value for grazing purposes which makes them desirable. The first framed house was built by Daniel Harris, in 1808; and the first school was taught by Miss S. Tyler in 1810.
The first religious meetings were held by a Quaker from Peru, Clinton County, in 1808.
The First Congregational Church of Lawrenceville was organized with six members Nov. 15, 1826, but their house of worship was not built until 1841. It cost $1,500, and will seat 250 persons. The first pastor was Rev. B. B. Cutler; at present it is without one. The Society numbers 48 members. The church property is valued at $1,000(4).
The Nicholville M. E. Church was organized with forty-two members, by whom and in what year we are not advised. Rev. Justin Alden was the first pastor; Rev. C. E. Dorr, our informant, is the present one. The Society erected its first house of worship in 1828, and its present one, in 1857 at a cost of $400. It will seat 225. There are 131 members. The church property is valued at $2,500.
The First Free Will Baptist Church was organized with eight members, in July, 1838, by Revs. David Colby and Benj. Bundy, but did not erect a church edifice until 1867. The house will seat 300 persons. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel Hart; the present one is Rev. Ezra B. Fuller. There are thirty members. The church property is valued at $2,700(5).
The Lawrenceville Baptist Church was organized with seven members Nov. 19, 1840, in which year its first house of worship was erected. It was re-organized May 14, 1842. Rev. Silas Pratt was the first pastor; Rev. G. N. Harmon is the present one. The present house of worship, which will seat 275 persons was erected in 1867, at a cost of $4,000. The church property is valued at $4,500(6).
The Nicholville Universalist Society was organized about 1840. The church edifice, which is the one first erected, but in what year we are not advised, was built at a cost of $800, and will seat 200 persons. There are fifty members, who are under the spiritual tutelage of Prof. J. S. Lee. The Church property is valued at $1,000.
The Hopkinton Free Will Baptist Church was organized with eleven members by Rev. John Sweet, in 1842, and its house of worship, which will seat 300 persons, was erected in 1845, at a cost of $1000. The first pastor was Rev. John Sweet; the present one is Rev. Richard Parks. The Society numbers 68 members. The church property is valued at $2,500(7).
(1) Names from Wm. Lawrence, a New York merchant, who purchased Chesterfield, which comprises this town, Feb. 17, 1820, to relieve the tedium of a retired life by efforts to effect its settlement.
(2) The first town meeting was held at the house of Carlton McEwen, who was elected Supervisor; Myron G. Peck, Town Clerk; James Trussell, Nathaniel Smith and Newel H. Lamson, Assessors; Enos Burt, Collector; James Trussell and M. G. Peck, Overseers of the Poor; Giles Hard, David S. Sperry and John Ferris, Commissioners of Highways; Enos Burt and Warren Day 2d, Constables; George P. Farran, Samuel Bent and James Ferris, Commissioners of Common Schools; and Dwight N. Higgins, David S. Sperry and David H. Powers, Inspectors of Schools.
(3) Named from E. S. Nichols of New York, executor of the estate of Wm Nichols
(4) Information furnished by Jeremiah Bailey, Clerk
(5) Information furnished by Horace Rowell, Clerk
(6) Information furnished by Peabody Newland
(7) Information furnished by Reuben Wells