In 1788, five years after the close of the Revolutionary War, Lawrence Lawrason, who was born in 1760, in the Province of New Jersey, then a British colony, emigrated to the Niagara district of Upper Canada, accompanied by his wife and Judge Nathaniel Pettit, her father, who was afterwards a member of the first Upper Canadian Parliament, which assembled in 1792 at Newark, now Niagara, then the capital of the Province.
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The family settled upon lands in the township of Ancaster, and had seven children, one of whom was Lawrence Lawrason, junior, the subject of this sketch, who was born at Ancaster August 10, 1803.
When the war with the United States broke out, in 1812, our subject was too young to enlist, but two older brothers and his father engaged in the service during the war, and his brother Thomas, who was a volunteer at the taking of Detroit, was afterwards granted a medal for that service.
In his fifteenth year, after a little taste of hard work on his father’s farm, Mr. Lawrason left home and engaged as a clerk in a commercial establishment at the mouth of the Grand river on Lake Erie, and continued with the parties, removing with them to Queenston and thence to St. Thomas.
In 1819, Mr. Lawrason returned to his father’s farm, and three years later (in 1822) removed to the township of London, then a new settlement, where he continued farming for ten years. He then removed into the town, now the city of London, where he carried on an extensive and successful commercial business for nearly a quarter of a century.
At an early day Mr. Lawrason was appointed an ensign, and was promoted from time to time until he became Lieutenant-Colonel, which office he now holds in the Reserve Militia of London. He has been an acting justice of the peace for upwards of forty years, and curing the troubles of 1837-38, he assisted in the suppression of that rebellion.
In 1844, Mr. Lawrason was elected to the Canadian Parliament, after the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and as a representative for the city of London served a session, retiring the Mr. Lawrason was a member of the municipal council at an early day, and in 1866 was appointed police magistrate, an Office which he still holds, and the duties of which he is discharging with the utmost faithfulness.
He is a member of the Church of England, and for more than twenty years was warden of St. Paul’s church, London. Mr. Lawrason has lived an exemplary life, and commands the respect and esteem of the whole community. He has been married since May 21, 1827, his wife being Abigail Lee, a native of Thorold, near Niagara Falls, daughter of the late William Hooker Lee, M.D. They celebrated their golden wedding in May, 1877, when the three living children and a number of grandchildren and other friends were present, the occasion being one of much joy.
William Lawrence Lawrason, their only son, is married, and living on his lands in the Muskoka district; Louisa, the elder daughter, is the widow of the late Lionel Ridout; and M. A. Phoebe is the wife of Edmund Baynes Reed, barrister, London, the secretary-treasurer of the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron.