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Jesse B. Lawson

Page 680
Jesse B. Lawson, familiar to the residents of Perry County as a farmer and postmaster of Essau Post Office, is the son of Amos B. Lawson and Elizabeth Halton, natives of Georgia and Tennessee, respectively. The father was born in 1790 and soon after his marriage moved to Tennessee, being one of the early settlers of that State, with Davy Crockett. About 1847 he went to Mississippi where Jesse was born February 18, 1849. Returning to Tennessee in 1854, he came to Perry County, giving attention to stock dealing and trading; he was a cooper by trade, and brought the first iron axle wagon into this county. He took part in the War of 1812 and his father was killed in the Revolutionary War. Jesse's mother was born about 1808 and died in Perry County in 1873. She had three sons, but our subject, the eldest is the only one living. He received his limited education in the subscription schools of this county, living with his mother till his marriage in 1873 to Miss Agnes Klingelhoffer, a native of Perry County, whose parents were born in Germany but came here in 1833. Mr Klingelhoffer was educated for a priest, but afterward denounced the faith. They have one child, Robert. Mr Lawson has been postmaster at Essau since 1880, when the office was established through his efforts. He has run a ferry boat across the Arkansas River since 1878, his farm and residence being located on the river bank. The last year of the war he was in the employ of the government running a fleet on the Arkansas river. Soon after hostilities closed, he was elected constable of Perry County but did not serve and about 1868 was elected justice of the peace also declining to fill this position. In 1882 he was elected county assessor and served two years. He is a Democrat and was a member of the Perry County Regulators soon after the war. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1869 Mr Lawson purchased 120 acres of land and at the present time has 1050 acres, all but 150 acres of which is on the Arkansas River, and about 300 acres under cultivation. In 1885 he built a cotton gin with all the late improvements and gins more cotton than any other person in the county. He is one of the community's extensive and influential planters.