Samuel Urban Lawry, a retired farmer and ex-merchant of Harding, is the
present supervisor of the town of Freedom, LaSalle county. He is a native of
the Empire state, born in Steuben county, New York, June 23, 1842, and came
to LaSalle county with his father, James Lawry, in October, 1855. This
journey was not effected as nowadays, by a fast-flying express train, but by
lake to Chicago and the remainder of the way by slow'-going wagons, to
Harding. Mr. Lawry passed his youth and early manhood on his father's farm,
without incident other than the experiences common to the freedom of boyhood
life. When he reached his majority he rented land and took up the burthen of
life alone. The civil war was on when he became of age and before its
conclusion he enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Forty-first Illinois
Volunteer Infantry. He was on detail at Columbus, Kentucky, as clerk in the
provost marshal's office, this detail succeeding that of carpenter, and he
remained in the marshal's office until his discharge at the end of the war.
Upon his return he operated a corn-shelter and thresher for two years. With the funds he had accumulated up to this date, he bought the stock of goods owned at Harding by H. E. Billings. He was soon appointed the postmaster. Competition was so sharp for his competitor that he soon withdrew from the field and Mr. Lawry was seldom worried by fear of further opposition. He prospered in his new venture, maintained the good \vill of his patrons, remaining in business nearly a quarter of a century. He sold his interest to his partner, Willis A. Martin, with whom he had been associated since 1884, and retired from the care of mercantile life to the quiet of his farm near the village.
Our subject cast his first vote for a Republican candidate and has been identified with that party ever since. He has been chosen the school treasurer of his town for sixteen years, and has been the supervisor of his town the past seven years.
Mr. Lawry comes of English blood. His father was born in London, in 1808, and learned the pattern-making trade. He worked at the carpenter's trade in Steuben county, New York, and engaged in farming in Illinois. In 1884 he went to Kansas and died at Newton, that state, in February, 1899. He married Ann Harrison, a Pennsylvania lady, who died in Ophir township, in 1864. Mrs. Lawry also was born in England. Her children were: William, of Omaha, Nebraska; James, a farmer in Cloud county, Kansas; Walter, of the same state and county; Elizabeth, the widow of Elijah Batchellor, of Chicago; Samuel U., and Dr. Joseph, of Redding, California.
Samuel U. Lawry was married October 7, 1874, to Myra, a daughter of Freeborn Lewis. Mr. Lewis was born in New York, in 1809, and in early life was a river flatboatman on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, from Cincinnati to New Orleans. He lived in Dearborn county, Indiana, many years and was there married to Alletta Angevine, who is still living, in Sheridan, Illinois, at the age of eighty years. Mr. Lewis came to LaSalle county in 1865 and died here in 1888. His children are: Mary, wife of Quincy Wemple, of Sheridan; Ada, deceased; Mrs. Lawry and Freeborn Lewis, of Sheridan.
Mr. Lawry's children are: Carl C. and J. L. The former finished his education in the Ottawa high school in 1899, and the latter was educated in Bryant & Stratton's Business College, Chicago; he is also a stenographer at the Chicago Athletic Club.
Extracted 13 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 654-655.