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About Lawrence's of Provost, Ab
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Site in progress. Traced ancestors back to 1110. Use the different reports to browse. Find yourself first to learn. Let me know of any changes or additions.   Gary

              (This beautiful story was written by MARY L LAWRENCE for the               PROVOST AND DISTRICTS HISTORY book EARLY FORROWS in 1977)

The Lawrence Family's first introduction to the Canadian West, came in the  summer of 1906. Francis Emmet Lawrence and his sons PHilo Odell and Elmer Stuart who  were carpenters by trade, left their homes in Durand, Michigan, to come up to Alberta  Canada to see for themselves if all the glowing stories they had heard were true.  They were impressed enough by what they saw that summer that they filed on homesteads  sixy miles south west of Lloydminster, Alberta and returned home. They came back the  next spring, in May of 1907, with their families and possessions.      It is interesting to speculate, now, on the reason why a well-established  American family, whose future seemed secure and comfortable, would leave all that to  face unknown dangers and hardships, in the Canadian west. Perhaps is was adventure  and excitment that beckoned them, or possibly the chance to own choice land on the  last frontier, drew them, too. Whatever the reson, the Lawrences came west.      Grandpa Lawrence and his sons might have had a very different life, had they  followed a path that had opened to them before they left the East. Two business  friends named Durant and Dort has wanted Grandpa to throw in this lot with them and  help finance a company to build motor cars, but he refused because he didn't figure  that craze would last. How different the Lawrence story might have been, had he  followed that path.
      However, what really happened was that the little family group of would-be  pioneers, with all their possessions, and with all their bridges burned behind them,  arrived in Lloydminster one May day in 1907.
      They had alread travelled two thousand miles be train and now faced the long,  rough wagon journey to their homes. More supplies were bought, including some lumber,  and they set of across the untouched new land. The spring-flooding Battle River had  to be forded, which must have been a frightening experience, especially for the women. Landmarks and faint trails finally led them to their homes.
      Part of the land the Lawrences homesteaded, and where their descendants still  live, was the W 1/2 36-42-3 W4th, which is located seventeen miles northwest of  Provost. This would be their home town, but it was barely begun at that time. It was  also twenty two miles southeast of Edgerton.
      They found their land burned black by a prairie fire which has passed through  the fall before. There were still scattered dirty snow banks left on the dreary  landscape. Their spirits were soon renewed when the countryside turned green and  beautiful in the warm May sunshine.
      Their first home, until a sod shack was built, was a tent. There were no trees,  except along the Ribstone Creek, and the prairie stretched unbroken by plough or fence out to the horizon and beyond. Prairie fires roared through the countryside some  falls and burned everything to the ground. Every little farm yard had to have its  fire-guard ploughed around it. The district in which the Lawrences settled, was later  name La Pearl in honor of Mrs Philo Lawrence whose name was Pearl. Soon more settlers  arrived and La Pearl became a commuity. Other pioneer neighbours were the Needhams,  Beckers, Sturgis, Gortons, Hawkens, Krafts, Carlsons, Gilroy, Appleby, Donaldson,  Fullers, and McManns.
      Many hardships, sorrows and joys were shared by these friends and neighbours.  Blizzards and prairie fires, sickness and death, crop failures and low prices, all  had to be faced and endured - or beaten.
      While Philo and Elmer carried on most of the farm work, Grandpa Lawrence put his  trade to good use in the new land, building houses, barns and schools, many of which  are still standing. He built the local school in 1913, and it was the community  centre of its day.
      Meanwhile the family was growing. Philo and Pearl had two sons, Paul and Leo.  Paul was born in Michagan in 1906, so made the trip to the new land as a baby. Leo  was born in 1914. Elmer and Alice had five children. Stuart 1908, Alberta 1910,  Francis 1912, Earl 1717, and Marian 1919.
      One unfortunate occurence which Paul and Francis still faintly remember was a fire which completely destroyed Philo's house in February 1915. They can remember  Leo, as a small baby being dropped out of a window into a snowbank, as the family  escaped the raging flames. They spent the rest of that winter with Grandpa, Grandman,  and Elmer and Alice's family. The next summer they built again, and lived on the farm  for a while.
      During this time Philo managed the Post Office. A German family, named Stauffer,  who lived at Dunn, distributed mail to several sub-post offices. Dunn was a CNR water  stop, five miles west of Ribstone, where the steam locomotives took on water. Dunn is  now a memory. Philo's initials P.O. took on a new significance - Post Office  Lawrence. Philo was appointed a Justice of the Peace, which though an honor, didn't  pay very well. Paul can remember his Father telling his Mother, that he intended  charging .25 at on time, but finally settled for the usual "No Charge"      The first death in this close-knit family came in 1919, when Philo, weakened by  long days and nights of caring for his flu-stricken family, succumbed to the dreaded  disease himself. This world wide epidemic did not spare the La Pearl district.      Soon after Philo's death, Pearl took her two sons to Edmonton. There she cared  for and supported her little family, until her death in 1929, still a fairly young  woman. Paul and his wife Julia still live in Edmonton. Leo and Lilian have made their  home in London, England.
      A few years after Philo's passing, little Marian, two year old daughter of Elmer  and Alice, was taken by Scarlet Fever.
      Grandma Lawrence died in 1923, and Grandpa in 1929, both having lived full and  useful lives. They set an example of integrity and hard work, seasoned with a keen  sense of humor. Their descendants, 32 living in 1975, whether they knew them  personally or through stories and anecdotes, hold them in horored memory.      The home of Elmer and Alice Lawrence was fittingly name, "Half-way house" as  friends and neighbours, or people passing to and from Lloydminster, were entended  warm hospitality. The Lawrence's themselves made many long trips for supplies,  sometimes with a team of horse and ox hitched together. Their home was also the  distribution point for the all important mail, for a period of time. Elmer was quite  active in the community,taking part in the "Beef Ring" La Pearl School Board, and UFA      An exciting time for the family, was the first car purchased-a Chevrolet, in  1927. The pioneer families suffered throught the depression years that followed.  During these tough years, the old Eaton Catalogue served many purposes, as store,  library and often it ended its days in the little house down the garden path. The  Lawrences bought their first radio, an "Arcadian" from Mcleods in the mid-thirties.  This wonderful new invention gave may families a great may hours of pleasure. Chores  were often scheduled. so that the family could listen to "Lux Threatare, Major Bowes  or Fibber McGee and Molly".
      Elmer and Alice Lawrence lived busy, useful lives, as did their parents before  them. They to, are held in revered memory by their children-which after all, is the  best memorial.
      Elmer died in 1949 and Alice in 1954.
      Stuart their eldest son passed away in 1969. He and his wife Jennie who died in  1970, had five children, Bill, Mabel, Janet, Iris and George.      Alberta, with her husband Jack Crawford and son Lawrence, live in Vancouver.      Francis and Alice live in Provost. Their children are: Gary, Dale and Rita.      Earl and Mary, who have three children: Philip. Patricia (Mrs Con Anderson) and  Kenneth, live on the farm where the first sod was turned, in 1907, nearly seventy  years ago.
      Paul and Julia live in Edmonton. They have 4 daughters: Audrey (Mrs McKean) of  Calgary, Shirley (Mrs Gorman of Edmonton, Judy (Mrs Bale) of Regina and Cathy of  Edmonton. They have seven grandchildren.
      This, then, is the end of the beginning of the Lawrence story in Alberta. The  family, as is the case in so many, is now spreading out far and wide, and carrying on  with their share of the worlds work, as begun here in the West on that May day - so  long ago.
                                   Mary L Lawrence   (1923-2007)

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There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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