The Lawry Family
by Lloyd Lawry
Grandma, Mrs. Grace (Yeager) Helms, was married to my grandpa, George W. Lawry, on May 2, 1886.
It is indicative of the hard times they were to experience that, only one year after Grandma and Grandpa were married, they had to mortgage the farm that Daniel Helms, her first husband, had bought. The patent covering Mr. Helms purchase of the farm was issued at that time (1887). Apparently, the farm stayed in Daniel Helms name untiL 1929, when after Grandma Lawry's death, Aunt Sadie bought it from the heirs of "Dan Helms and Grace Helms Lawry,” for $2000.
The patent states "said tract has been purchased by the said Daniel Helms, and he paid, therefore, the fuIl amount of the purchase money, and interest, as appears from the certificate of the county clerk of Allen County Kansas, deposited in the state land office.”
Aunt Sadie was born March 20, 1887, just less than a year after Grandma and Grandpa Lawry were married. At that time Grandpa's eyesight had probably begun to fail as he was blinded by cataracts in 1888 when Sadie was only a year old. At the time he lost his eyesight they had Sadie and the three Helms children, Henry, James, and Nannie to support.
This is an excerpt from a letter Grandma wrote to William Lawry, Grandpa's son by his first marriage, after Grandpa's death in 1923: "I have always had to work so hard to try to have something for my children to eat when they was young, and as fast as the boys growed up they went to work for themselves.”
My Daddy said he worked the farm by himself when he was 11. This was with horse-drawn plows and cultivators. The operator had to walk behind them up and down the long rows. If they raised corn, it had to be shucked by hand.
Grandma and Grandpa Lawry had seven children:
Sadie Emma Lawry - born March 20, 1887 - died December 24, 1973 - never married
George Newton Lawry - born March 5, 1889 - died March 13, 1959 - married Gladys Moore
Jimmie Armlne Lawry - born April 3, 1891 - died December 29, 1955 - never married
Mary Susie Lawry - born March 20, 1893 - died June 27, 1990 - married John Ermel
Bennie Eugene Lawry - born February 15, 1895 - died December 2, 1981 - married (1st) Lucille McDaniel – 1918 divorced. Married (2nd) Hazel Reeve - 1927
Johnnie William Lawry – born April 17, 1897 – died October 9, 1984 – married Chrystal Faye Larue
Charlie Everett Lawry - born October 25, 1899 – died September 25, 1901
Grandma Lawry was a sweet, gentle woman who worked terribly hard all of her married life. She loved the Lord and loved her family. She was extremely frugal. As an example, Sadie had bought some old- fashioned high button shoes for 25 cents a pair. After Grandma's death, one pair was found in her closet with corn cobs wedged inside the heel to stretch them. Sadie always required her Mother to work very hard.
Although small in stature, Grandma Lawry was a giant in the Lord. In renewing her subscription to The Church Herald and Holiness Banner she wrote, “Jesus keeps all care away and watches over me every moment of my life. Praise His Name! Even though I am 72 years old, He is the same Dear Friend yesterday and today and as long as life shall last.”
Just before she died, she lifted her arms and cried; “Bright! Bright!” Perhaps Jesus gave her a glimpse of His glory and heaven.
She requested her children to read 1 Samuel 16:7 when she had gone home to be with Jesus. “But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused Him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
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