The ancestors of Dwight Lawrence, a well-known citizen of Ottawa, on both the paternal and maternal lines, were men of sturdy patriotism and worthy of respect in every particular. His father's grandfather, Colonel Bigelow Lawrence, was a hero of the Revolutionary war, and the maternal great-grandfather of our subject, Amasa Farnham, was likewise a soldier in that struggle with our mother country.
The parents of Dwight Lawrence were Jairus and Alice (Farnham) Lawrence. The father was a native of Onondaga county, New York, and held numerous local offices of honor and trust. In political creed he was a Democrat. To himself and estimable wife six children were born, namely: Dwight, Rachel, Lucretia, Jairus, Alice and Fred. The devoted husband and father was summoned to the silent land in 1881, at the ripe age of seventy-one years.
The birth of Dwight Lawrence occurred in Orleans county, New York,. February 6, 1833. He grew to maturity and received his education in his native state, learning meanwhile every detail of agriculture. In 1849 he came to Illinois and went into the stock business, devoting much of his time to the breeding and training of high-grade blooded horses. He owns a fine homestead, known as the Lawrence Stock Farm, in Ophir township, LaSalle county, thirteen and one-half miles from Ottawa. Everything about this place calls forth the admiration and favorable comment of visitors. The barns and feed stables are modern, substantial and well equipped, there are splendid pastures and productive grain and hay fields, an abundance of clear, pure water, and a beautiful hedge over two miles long surrounds the premises. Without question the place is one of the finest and most valuable in the county, and from all parts of the state dealers and buyers come, as to a new Mecca. In connection with this farm the owner runs a livery, sale and feed stable at No. 811 Columbus street, Ottawa, under the firm name of Dwight Lawrence & Son. In the score or more of years that our subject has resided in this vicinity he has made an enviable record for business honesty. and enterprise. He is a Democrat and is public-spirited, and actively interested in the general welfare.
The marriage of Mr. Lawrence took place in 1859, his bride being Miss Harriet, daughter of Theron and Margaret, nee Belknap, of Orange county, New York. She died in Ottawa, October 17, 1886, and left one son, Wilbur H., who was born March 1, 1865, and is now engaged in business with his father. He and wife reside on the farm in Ophir township, where he was born. He was married March 15, 1894, to Sadie Stockley, a daughter of Charles Stockley, of Freedom township, LaSalle county, Illinois. Mr. Stockley was a soldier in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion, was captured and suffered the horrors of Andersonville prison.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 321-322.