||Underwood, ___  |
||14 Aug 2019 |
- [S1619] Newspapers.com (Reliability: 3), 13 Aug 2019.
The Conneautville Courier (Conneautville, Pennsylvania), 3 Jul 1935, Page 2
DEATH OF EDWIN L. LAWRENCE
Edwin L. Lawrence, son of Joseph and Sally Lawrence, was born in Summerhill township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on August 2, 1844. In his father's family there were eleven children Cynthia, Mary, Delilah and Caroline, full sisters; Mathilda, a half sister; Hiram and Perry, full brothers, and John, Rastus, William and Abraham, half brothers, all of whom have preceded Father Lawrence in death. Father Lawrence's family traces its lineage back to the Lawrence of England, among whose names we find a few bishops of the old English Church, now and then a barrister at the English Inns of Court, one or two Lawwrences who even reached the English peerage, and many who, belonging to landed class, looked beyond the western horizon to the youthful America. Thus it was that his immediate Lawrence ancestors, after settling along the New England coast, ultimately travelled westward to the frontier, and in the process of American colonization, helped in the development and early settlement of what is now Erie county, Pennsylvania.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, while but yet a boy, Edwin Lawrence responded to the call of the North, and at the age of 17 volunteered for the Union colors, enlisting as a private for a minimum of three years, or for a maximum of "Duration of the War." He became first a member of Captain M. L. Stone's Co. "I", 2nd Regiment of Pennsylvania Cavalry Volunteers, later being transferred to the Company of John P. Pralls. his cavalry regiment having served throughout the Virginia campaign, particularly distinguishing themselves at Gettysburg where Edwin's name is today inscribed with honor on the Pennsylvania State Memorial near the main entrance to that historic battlefield. On March 24, 18G5, before Petersburg, Va., Major Joseph Street, the commander of the regiment, handed Edwin, the then boy veteran of 21 years, his honorable discharge from the Union army, and though sick and impaired in health at the close of the conflict, his years of war service stood out in his mind as his proudest achievement. Upon his return to civilian life, he became a charter member of the Captain M. L. Stone Post No. 374 of the Grand Army of the Republic here at Conneautville, Pennsylvania, and today its tattered colors will accompany to its final resting place all that remains of him who was the boy volunteer of '62 and probably the last Civil War veteran in this part of Crawford county. Upon his discharge from the army in 1S65, Father Lawrence returned to Crawford county. Here he met and learned to love Caroline Dorchester of Conneaut township, and on June 3, 1874 they were united in marriage by the Rev. Wm. W. Wythe at Meadville, Pennsylvania. To this union were born five children--Webster C. Lawrence, born September 30, 1875, Dor C. Lawrence, born June 19, 1878, John D. Lawrence, born June 10, 1880, Bessie E. Lawrence Steel, born March 1, 1884 and Nettie C. Lawrence Underwood, born August 13. 1888. Of these Webster and Bessie have preceded Father Lawrence in death, leaving surviving him Dor, John and Nettie and Mother Caroline Lawrence, herself past 85 years in age.
For the past 50 years Father and Mother Lawrence have lived on their farm in Summerhill township, their son John having left the old homestead and having with Mother Lawrence and his wife, lovingly cared for Father Lawrence up until his last sickness when Father Lawrence developed a foot infection that resulted in his death. Attended by his daughter Nettie, a nurse, he was removed on Sunday, June 23rd, to Spencer Hospital, Meadville, where on Saturday night, June 29, 1935, the sun of his long spent life went Westering down into the Sea and he slept peacefully away, aged 90 years, 10 months and 27 days.
"He heard a voice we could not hear
Which said "You must not stay."
He saw a hand we could not see
Which beckoned him away."
In addition to Mother Lawrence, his loving helpmate for 61 years, his sons, Dor and John, and daughter, Nettie, he leaves to mourn many dear nieces and nephews and a host of neighbors and friends. Thus once again we contemplate the changeless truth that death is the only corridor and postal to life, and that childhood, youth, the magnificent maturity of manhood and the serene virility of old age are but successive steps to the highway pinnacle. One Father Lawrence mentioned how during the days of the conflict, when Union and Confederate troops were encamped on opposite sides of some river, a northern band played the national anthem and that the northern boys commenced to cheer; then a southern band on the other side of the river swung into the strains of "Dixie" and the southern boys cheered; then one band began the soft strains of "Home, Sweet Home" and immediately the band on the other side of the river took up the same strain, and then at the close. of the piece the boys on both sides united in one grand cheer for the one common sentiment.
Thus, as it was to Father Lawrence in this vivid river of his life so too it is to us survivors today in this no less vivid river of his death, for the voices on this side and the voices on the other side of the river of death seem to co-mingle in the chorus of the one united song of Heaven and Earth, the everlasting, eternal "Home Sweet Home".
In those beautiful words of James Whitcomb Riley-- "I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead he is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into an unknown 1 land.
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must lie since he lingers there.
And you--O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return.
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same, I say;
He is not dead he is just away."
Transcribed by Ted Smith