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Thomas W. Lawrence

Thomas William Lawrence was born in London, England in September 1843, the son of Charlotte Stevens and Thomas S. Lawrence, foreman for the Central Gas Company of London. He immigrated to the US with his family in 1847, at the age of 4, and received his primary school education in New York City, later attending school in Madison, Wisconsin, where his father engaged in the building business. At the age of 18 he began to learn the trades of blacksmith and plasterer. He then moved to Chicago for two years, and finally to Denver in 1873, where he is listed in the 1874 Denver City Directory as a "plasterer."

In Denver Thomas worked as a "live stock grower" and a contractor, plasterer and builder. He married Annabel B. Barker (born in Ohio in 1861) in 1879. Their son Edgar was born in 1887. His father-in-law, A. H. Barker built the first house in Denver and was a sergeant-at-arms in the first State Legislature; he was a life-long miner by occupation and held numerous claims including the Grant-Winnebago mine.

Perhaps through his father-in-law, Thomas developed an interest in minerals, and when his friend and fellow plasterer George McClain decided to establish a mineral business in Denver, Thomas partnered with him for one year in 1884, and they opening their shop ("mineral curiosities") at 432 Larimer Street, under the name of McClain & Lawrence. By 1885 the partnership had dissolved and McClain continued to operate the shop on Larimer Street while Lawrence sold minerals from his home at 159 Pennsylvania Avenue. He apparently then returned to his usual trade, and is listed in the Denver City Directory as a "plasterer" in 1887, 1892, 1896, 1897 and 1909, and as a "cattle dealer" in 1898. In 1900 he lived for a while in Hugo, Lincoln County, Colorado.

Chapman's Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado (1899, page 1460) reported that: "he owns a fine home in Denver and is well-fixed financially." Thomas Lawrence retired with his wife Annabel to Glendale, California by 1917 and died there on December 9, 1941, at the age of 98.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Thomas W. Lawrence Mineral specimen collection sold in 1884 by Thomas Lawrence and George McClain.
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