The History Of Lawson
Original ms. From Miss Emma Hayes from Livingston, Texas
The history of Lawson, also called Burr, was written in 1942 by the pupils of the 7th grade of that school under the direction of their teacher Miss Emma Hayes. The pupils were:
Chudalla, Annie Bell
They are thankful to the following people for the history:
Mrs. W.S. Clark, Mrs. James Cunningham, Paul Chudalla, George Chudalla, Herman Chudalla, Henry Luco, Mrs. Minnie May Mays, Mrs. Lena Merrill, Mrs.___Mays, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Rogers, W.H. Vandergri_, Mrs. B.E. Vineyard, Frances Jones (negress)
The history of Lawson, or Burr, begins in 1824 when the Mexican govít extended S.F.A.ís land grant southward to the Gulf.
In 1826 Austin granted Eli Hunter a league extending from Peach Creek westward across Caney Creek. The league was in a rectangle shape, and included what is now Lawson community proper.
In 1844 Hunter sold some of his land to Freeman and Eliner George. At that time the present Wharton County was a part of Matagorda County. There is an indication in an abstract that the George family lived there. A man named Jefferson George..Freeman George lived there. Freeman George offered slaves as security for interest on money borrowed in 1854.
Shadracch Caynce lived in this community as early as 1844. A pile of tombstones on the present Boerger field shows one for Shadrack Cayce who died in 1848. Another is Susan Cayce who died in 1848.
There is an old graveyard on Caney Creek on the site of the old school ground. There is a tombstone at the grave of Dr. Justus Barret who died in Feruary, 1849. A child of A.E. Thomas was buried there in 1850 and one in 1856. A child of A.E. Thomas was buried there in 1850 and one in 1856. An Ayres child was buried in 1859; a child of W.T. Stevens in 1859 and a Mrs. W.T. Stevens in 1856, age 17. Her name was Elizabeth and the Stevens child that died had a mother named Sarah.
Lemuel Callaway bought some of the Hunter league from Freeman George in 1851. M.M. Calloway bought land in 1857. George Calloway settled here early and William D. Callaway bought land in 1869. There were two sets of Callaways, unrelated. One was known as the "dark" Callaways; the other the "blondes". William D. Callaway married Nawey (?) of the other set.
Miss Bennie Callaway married G.R. Pickard and lived in the community and died there in 1902. Mrs. Lena Merril and Mrs. Willie Moore of Wharton are her children.
William Callaway gave a plantation bell to the Baptist church of Wharton; he used it in slavery times to call in the slaves from the field.
Miss Fannie Callaway married Mr. Still. After her husband's death a few years later she married Terrel Whitten. Mrs. Still lived in a two story house near the present Everett Rogers home. She had a daughter named Bettie.
There was a Miss Lulu and Miss Mitt Callaway.
Miss Amy Callaway married Ben Lee and lived north of Peach Creek. They had slaves; lived there before the Civil War. There was no school at that time so the Callaway children went to school to the first Lawson school stood, to be used for a church. It burned after the Civil War.
Burr Harrison bought land in 1859. Actually two cousins, William and Gerard Harrison, who had moved to Wharton in the 1850's bought it for him. They paid $40 an acre in gold for some of it.
Burr Harrison married soon after the Civil War and brought his bride to Lawson. (It is said she was related to Pocahontas). Their children were Mrs. B.F. Vineyard, Gerard, Albert, Bolling, William, Mrs. Julie (Maner) Stafford, Mrs. R.H.D. Sorrell (nee: Sallie Harrison)
Harrison had cotton, sugar cane, cattle, horses, and mules on his plantation. All of the Jackson negroes in the community are descendants of the Jackson which Harrison employed. He had a sugar mill, syrup mill, and grist mill on Caney Creek; he shipped sugar and syrup. Before the railroad was built he hauled his produce in wagons to East Bernard and carried back goods for his commissary for use by his tenants.
A hedge was planted to divide the Harrison plantation from the Rowe plantation, and the hedge still grows.
After the death of Burr Harrison his son, Gerard, managed the farm and established a big mercantile business that was larger than any general store in Wharton. He also traded stock. (Big brick store now on Boling hwy..)
When the Kriegles (?) gave up their store, Gerard Harrison had the post office moved to his store and the nae (sp:name) changed to Burr for his father. Gerard Harrison married Miss Daisy Rowe, his neighbor. She died and he later married Ruth Cloud.
Manly Rowe was born in Brazoria. His mother was a Miss Petty. She had a brother Annexation because he was born the day Texas joined the Union. She also had a brother named Philemon Petty who was postmaster of Wharton. He fought in the Civil War. It is said that Rowe ran away to the war when he was 19. When he returned he bought land from T. David Stevens which joined the Harrison Estate, married and settled there. He had two daughters. One married Gerard Harrison and the other, Miss Minnie, married Beauregard Mays. Mays was related to the Stevens Rowe bought land from.
Before Miss Minnie met Mays a Dr. V. F. Veazey gave her a horse he rode during the Civil War. She named the first colt Beauregard for the Confederate General. Later she met Mays whose given name was Beauregard.
Mr. Rowe made a tomboy of Miss Minnie. She rode horses and hunted deer, turkey and wild animals. After she married she hunted with her husband and was especially fond of wildcat hunting. Her governess was Miss Kate Rugeley. Miss Rowe was sent to school in Houston, to San Antonio and to Baylor Belton.
Manly Rowe had negro quarters, then moved the houses on small farms so the negroes could live on the land they worked. They raised sugar cane, cotton, corn and cattle. Rowe had a commissary to accommodate his tenants.
The Rowes, Halls and Harrisons went to Wharton to church, and sometimes went together in one wagon. They also went to Wharton to
dances. There was not a house between their plantations and Wharton.
Wiley Hall was the first white child born in this section, but we do not know the exact place.
Clifton, Eugene and Emmett Brooks lived on land joining the Rowe place and one had a part of the Callaway place. One of them operated a store and lived in the back part of the store. Part of the Venglar home is the old store.
A man named Mayfield bought land from the Callaways after the war because his place is known yet as the Mayfield plantation. He had a cotton gin, grist mill and syrup and sugar mill on Caney Creek. ______ Hamilton (Joe) J.A.? settled in Lawson and later became a county officer.
Henry Luco was born near Bellville in 1873 and came to Lawson in 1890. He married Amelia Teske. They first lived in a log cabin located a short distance from Caney Creek on the Kriegel road. He raised vegetables, sugar cane and potatoes. One year he and Charles Kriegle raised potatoes together and shipped 14 carloads to northern markets. The Lucos had seven children: Ted, Henry, Charles, Fritz, Ida, Ollie, Josephine.
L.J. Teske married Caroline Ray in Cyprus Top, Harris county in 1883 and moved to Lawson in 1893. They had one child, Amelia. Mrs. Teske doed and her husband married her sister. They had eight children: Julius, Will, Charlie, Annie, Mary, Tilda, Martha and Meta. The second wife died in 1899 and Mr. Luco died in 1920.
Mr. and Mrs. George Chudalla were originally from Germany. They lived in Montgomery county where he worked in Kriegle's sawmill. They moved to Lawson in 1889. He helped to build the road now known as the Chudalla
road. He built a pole bridge across Peach Creek, and helped build the first school house in Lawson. He died in 1940 at the age of 93. His children are: George, Henry, Charlie, Fritz, Herman, Annie, Paul, Mary and Eddie.
The Charlie Kriegele family moved to Lawson in 1898 from Montgomery county where he was engaged in sawmilling, and later in farming.He built a store and secured a post office which was named Kriegele. Every day he went to Wharton to get mail. In the store he sold cheese, crackers, sardines, coffee, tobacco, candy, kerosene, sugar, and other supplies. He built the store for his five daughters to have something to do. His children were Cora (Mrs. Everett Rogers), Vera (Mrs. James Cunningham), Rynum, Mrs. Nada Butler, Mrs. Oreda McCallum and Mrs. Calie Weldon. Mrs Cunningham and Mrs. Rogers helped keep a Sunday school going in the community.
When the Kriegeles moved to Lawson there were seven white families and 100 negro families. Roads were mere trails that went thru high wees. Threes overshadowed the road.
Lawson. gave land for the school in 1893. Dick Lawson had two sons, John and Gordon. Gordon was commander of the 143rd infantry on World War I, and was killed in action. The present school is named for Dick Lawson.
When the Teske, Luco and Chudalla families arrived only the Harrisons were there of the older families.
C.W. Wilson moved from Illinois about 1904. He married Miss Rogers. Dr. Goldsmith practiced medicine from 1897 to 1910. John Brown came in 1908 and the Buntons, Cunningham, Berberich, Cecil Jarvis, Jim Davis, (Isam?) came about that time. J. M. Bunton was first to have a car. Vandergriff came in 1908. Mays moved to Lawson in 1913. In 1919 he operated the Burr store and boarded teachers.