William Lawrence

Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Page 1073

     William Lawrence.—William Lawrence, the oldest of the three, in addition to his mercantile pursuits, took an active part in politics.  Early in youth he espoused the sentiments and principles of the Democratic party and, until his death, he labored for its interest and success.  For a period of forty years he was one of the foremost of his party in the state. Graduating from Jefferson College in 1835, he made arrangements to study law, but his parents objected to his following the profession of his choice, so he entered business with his father in Washington.

     In 1843 he was elected to the lower house of the General Assembly of Ohio, and in 1855, to the upper house.  While a member of the latter he was elected to Congress, serving one term (1857-59).  He was a member of the state convention that drafted the Constitution of 1851.  Governor William Allen appointed him a member of the board of directors of the Ohio Penitentiary, of which body he was chosen president.  He was a presidential elector in 1848, when the state cast its vote for General Cass.   In 1867 he was returned to the upper house of the state legislature, and in 1872 he was again a candidate for Congress.  Perhaps no other Guernsey county man ever had a longer or more successful political career than he.

     It has been said that he filled all these places of public trust with honor and marked ability.  As a campaign orator he was in great demand by his party throughout the state.  He was both eloquent and convincing in his campaign speaking, but given to the use of cutting satire whenever the occasion demanded.



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