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by Arvord M. Abernethy

from The Hamilton Herald-News

27 April, 1989


Today we would like to salute another Hamilton teacher who spent 36 years at the teacher’s desk in nine different schools. She is Henrietta (Cadie) Cade Lawrence who was born to Tom and Henrietta Cade on December 21, 1904, in Comanche County, near Blanket.

She went by the given name of Henrietta until after she met Ralph Lawrence who would become her husband. Ralph took her maiden name, Cade, stretched out the "e" at the end and came up with Cad-e-e making it Cadie.

A few years ago, Cadie took time to write a book on the interesting events of her childhood days. It very vividly portrays the life of a young girl growing up on a farm with three brothers and three sisters. The reader feels as though he is one of them as they go to school, to church, pull a  prank on someone, get big ideas in their heads, or make a trip to the metropolis of Brownwood. One can feel the love and closeness of the Cade family as the children grew up. It is hoped that this book may soon be available in the Hamilton Library.

Cadie did some of her college work at Daniel Baker College there in Brownwood, but continued her schooling even during the years that she was teaching, ending with a Master’s degree from Baylor in 1948.

Her first school was at May, there in Brown County. Being just 19 years of age, there were some boys in the school nearly as large as she was and they would try to date or flirt with her, but she always handled it in a fine way. She then went of Donna in South Texas and taught for a year, and then returned and taught at her hometown of Blanket for two years.

Her next school was at Mertzon, out the other side of San Angelo, where she taught for three years. Here is where she met Ralph Lawrence who was to become her husband. Ralph worked there for a year and then moved to Sonora. This called for Uncle Sam’s mailman to carry their love notes which were mixed in every once in a while with a trip from Sonora to Mertzon.

This was all taking place right at the beginning of the Great Depression when work was scarce and dollars were even scarcer. But Cupid has a way of working things out, so Cadie and Ralph were married at Sonora in 1931.

There was a time in there that Cadie did not teach. Not until after their daughter, Myra Ann, ... ... got out of her babyhood did Cadie begin teaching again. This was at Meridian where they lived for five years. Ralph was a graduate of Texas A&M so was qualified to be a County Agent and this is what he did at Meridian.

After a year at Palestine, the position of County Agent opened up here at Hamilton so the Lawrences moved here in 1946. Ralph did not teach in a space that was limited by four walls, but he did teach 4-H boys in a space that reached from horizon to horizon and covered with a ceiling of blue sky. Ralph always showed great personal interest with the 4-H Club boys in preparing their livestock for the annual stock show. And that straw hat became a trademark we all recognized as he would visit us in our fields and homes. He continued in that position until his retirement in 1962.

Cadie began teaching the seventh grade in the Hamilton school when they moved here and continued to teach until her retirement in 1964.

After their retirement, the Lawrences became more active in the hobby, picture taking, especially that of colored slides. Many of their slides were made of scenery during their vacations in the Rocky Mountain area. But the slides they made of the native wild flowers of Hamilton County and Texas are the ones many of us remember them by. They have shown many of these wild flower slides at clubs and social and civic occasions. Some of the pictures they made were enlarged and now hang in the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Since Ralph’s office as County Agent was in the courthouse, he became interested in the history of the courthouse and wrote an article on it. It is found in the Hamilton County History Book that was published in 1979.

The Lawrence’s daughter, Myra Ann, did much of her public school work here in Hamilton graduating in .... as valedictorian. Then she went to Texas State College for Women, now known as Texas Women’s University, where she graduated in ... with the same honors.

She married Clayton (Pete) West, a descendent of an early Hamilton County family. They are the parents of four children. They both followed in her parent’s footsteps by being teachers.

The Lawrences were always active in the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, much of the time as Sunday School teachers, which Cadie is still doing. Ralph’s career ended in a tragic accident.



Mr. Lawrence

Edwin Ralph Lawrence

from The Hamilton Herald-News

1 September, 1988

Edwin Ralph Lawrence, 84, of Hamilton, died in an automobile accident on Friday, Aug. 26. Funeral services were held on Sunday, Aug. 28, in the Riley Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Tim Moody officiating. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery.

Mr. Lawrence was born in Hillsboro on April 7, 1904, the son of the late Billy A. and Bertha Minot Lawrence. He had lived in Hamilton since 1945. He married Henrietta Cade on June 19, 1931. He was a 1928 graduate of Texas A&M University. He was a retired County Extension Agent. He was a member of the Rock House Masonic Lodge; he was a Shriner; and he belonged to the First Baptist Church of Hamilton.

Survivors include his wife of Hamilton; a daughter Myra Ann West... ...; a sister, Dot Waddell of California; four grandchildren, Kathleen Slaughter, Edwin West, Teresa Mancuso, and Carson West; and four great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Edward West, Carson West, Clyde Raibourn, Bomer Harris, Jack Trammel, and Arvord Abernethy.




from The Hamilton Herald-News

23 March, 1995

Henrietta Cade Lawrence, 90, died Thursday at Hamilton General Hospital.

Services were Sunday, March 19, at First Baptist Church with Rev. Tim Moody and Rev. Michael Graham officiating. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery.

Mrs. Lawrence was born December 20, 1904, in Blanket in Brown County, the daughter of Thomas J. and Henrietta Green Cade. She was married to Edwin Ralph Lawrence on June 19, 1931. They moved to Hamilton in 1945. He preceded her in death on Aug. 26, 1988. She was also preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, and three brothers.

She was a retired school teacher and taught in the Hamilton Public School system for many years. She was a member of 20th Century Study Club, XYZ Club, and First Baptist Church.

Survivors include a daughter, Myra Ann Lawrence West and her husband Clayton West...; a sister, Helen Rogers... ...; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Carson West, Clint West, Red Williams, David Lengefeld, Don Haile, and Lawrence Malloy.


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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

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