The Ernest Lawrence Family Comes to Wilmore, KansasBy David Lawrence
The Sam Lawrence family with friends, 1928. Sam is at the far right with his son, Ernest, standing in front of him.
Samuel and Daisy Lawrence (Ernie's parents) moved to Wilmore around 1928 from Missouri. Daisy's sister Maude (Rush) and her husband Ernie Brown were there working on the Robbin's ranch and he persuaded Sam to move to Wilmore and go to work on the ranch. Sam and Daisy had four children, Ruby, Wilma Lee, Ernest and Alice Pearl. Ernie was 3 years old when the move took place. They became very active in the Wilmore Baptist Church and the children grew up in Wilmore. The two oldest girls, Ruby and Wilma Lee, graduated from Wilmore High School. The family moved to Coldwater, Kansas, during Ernie's senior year so he graduated from Coldwater High School, but always considered Wilmore as home.
After graduation Ernie joined the Marines and saw service at Iwo Jima and Saipan during WWII. When the war was over he went back to Missouri to visit an uncle who was the pastor of the Baptist church in Grant City, MO. There he met Gene Ann Mathews and shortly thereafter they were married. Ernie and Gene Ann and two other couples from Grant City moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma, to attend Oklahoma Baptist University. His intention was to become a coach, but the Lord had other plans, and he ended up as a ministry student. In 1949 he transferred to Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. After graduation from Ottawa and receiving some graduate hours at Central University in Kansas City, the family began pastoral ministries in eastern Kansas.
In 1955 the Wilmore Baptist Church was without a pastor. The search committee contacted Ernie and, after much prayer, he accepted the pastorate of his home church in Wilmore. It was a wonderful experience for the entire family. The kids attended Wilmore Schools and grew up on Mule Creek just like their Dad did. The Lawrences had four children: Larry, David, Lonna and Mathew. Mat was born in the Greensburg, Kansas, hospital after they came to Wilmore. Mat and his wife are presently Missionaries in Malawi, Africa. All of the children are very active in their respective churches. Ernie and Gene Ann are now retired and living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where they have an antiques shop called "Just Perfect Antiques and Collectables". They have 12 grand children and 15 great grand children.
They continue to Praise the Lord for all his blessings.
At left: Ernest Lawrence and Gene Ann Mathews on their wedding day. Photo courtesy of David Lawrence.
Ernest Lawrence, USMC, of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. WWII veteran. Photo contributed by his son David Lawrence.
Ernest Lawrence of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo from the collection of Wendel Ferrin.
Aunt Ruby Booth with, from left, David, Lonna and Larry Lawrence. Photo courtesy of David Lawrence.
At left, from the left: David Lawrence, Mike York, Larry Lawrence and Lonna Lawrence of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo courtesy of David Lawrence.
Ernest Lawrence of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas, at a swimming pool, circa 1940. Photo from the collection of Wendel Ferrin.
Delmer Lee 'Buck' Ferrin, at left, and Ernest Lawrence at a reunion. Photo courtesy of David Lawrence.
Wilmore Grade School, 1st & 2nd grades, 1931:
Teacher: Ms. Kernahan
Back row: Helen Alder, Elvy Hall, Frances Carter, Jean Snyder, Betty Suiter?, Rosemary Boles, Myrtle Faucett, Aleane Ray, Georg Ellen Metzger, Evaugn Smith
Second Row: Harold Woods, Richard Hackney, Gene Harp, Gene Herd, Glenn Metzger, Ernest Lawrence.
Front Row: Wesley Smith, Robert Shereck, Jimmy Booth, Paul Ward
Photo from the collection of Ernest Lawrence, courtesy of David Lawrence.
Thanks to David Lawrence for contributing the above information to this site. It was copied by this page built by him. This RootsWeb website is being created by Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book.
This page was last updated 27 November 2003.