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The Register, Wednesday Evening, March 21, 1923


Thomas Lawson

Mr. Thomas Lawson passed away at his home in Grafton on the evening of Sabbath, March 11th. In his removal Western Kings mourns the loss of a man of sterling integrity, high moral principle and disinterested business ability. Since coming into the County, more than forty years ago, he has been forward in every good work and ready to initiate and carry into effect any enterprises that he considered conducive to the well-being of the community.

Mr. Lawson was a native of Maybole, Scotland, where he was born in 1844. After his marriage – to Miss Agnes Fearn – and the birth of one son, Thomas, now in the Department of Finance at Ottawa, he, with his family, left Scotland for America. He first settled in Bermuda, where his second son, Peter F., was born, and where he was the means of organising the first Savings Bank on the Island. Leaving Bermuda, he made his home for a short time in Toronto, going from there to Halifax, where he was in the employ of the Cunard firm. Later, in the early eighties of the last century he purchased a business property at Waterville, where he conducted a general store. In 1893 he disposed of his property in Waterville – Mr. C. O. Cook being the purchaser – and took up his residence in Grafton, where the remaining years of his life have been spent.

During his business life in Waterville Mr. Lawson organised a Children’s Savings Bank, which was quite popular among the young people of the neighborhood. He also instituted a Farmers’ Fair or Exchange, where animals and articles for sale or exchange could be seen and business transacted. When the telephone was first extended through the Valley, the "Central" was established in Mr. Lawson’s store. On his removal to Grafton, he, at his own expense, had a branch extended from Waterville to that village. This enterprise developed into the Farmers’ Telephone Company, which was amalgamated with the Nova Scotia Company some three years ago at a valuation of nearly $25,000.

Shortly after his removal to Grafton Mr. Lawson was appointed Postmaster at that place. He has continued to perform the duties of that office until the effect of advancing years forbade, when he desired to retire from the office. At the urgent request of residents in the vicinity, his daughter consented to continue the performance of the duties of the office for the time being.

Mrs. Lawson died in Grafton in 1918. Four children now mourn the loss of both parents. These are: Thomas, of Ottawa; Peter F., now in the Southern States; David A., of Chicago, and one daughter, Miss Christine McL., who has been her father’s efficient assistant in his mercantile business and in the post office, and Secretary of the Farmers’ Telephone Company as well. An adopted daughter, Miss Gertrude Pineo, who has been one of the family from a very early age, recently became the wife of Mr. Robert Hepburn and purposes to make her home in New Zealand, but delayed her departure that she might aid in the care of her foster father during his last illness. The funeral was delayed until Thursday afternoon, awaiting the arrival of the youngest son, David, from Chicago. A large number of neighbors and friends gathered at the house to pay their last tribute of respect to the departed. The service was conducted by Rev. Thomas McFall, assisted by Revs. A. N. Gillis, A. R. Reynolds and H. S. Shaw. Messrs. Grant R. Bowles, Arthur Morton, Renwick Morton and Rufus G. Power acted as pallbearers. The remains were interred beside that of his wife in the cemetery at Waterville.