A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


J. N. Lawler, who is engaged in dealing in general merchandising at Farlington and is also operating in real estate and acting as land agent for the Frisco Railroad Company, was born in Vermilion county, Illinois, on the 17th of February, 1858. He is a son of William and Amanda (Hale) Lawler, residents of Girard, where the father is now living retired. They came to this county in 1873 and located on a farm three and a half miles west of Farlington, but at the present writing Mr. Lawler is engaged in no active business pursuit but is enjoying the fruits of his former toil in a period of well-merited rest.

J. N. Lawler came to Kansas in his boyhood days, being a youth of fifteen years when his parents removed to Crawford county. His early education was acquired in the common schools of Illinois and he continued his studies in the high school of Girard, Kansas, with Professor Quick as his preceptor. When he was but eighteen years of age he became imbued with the idea that he might make a fortune more rapidly in some other way than by following the occupation of farming, to which he had been reared. His father, willing that he should try what he could do, gave him twenty-five dollars and he started away from home, making his way to Webb City, Missouri. There he secured employment in the mines, but three months sufficed to show him that his rose-tinted hopes were without material foundation and he wrote his father telling him that if he would send him thirty dollars with which to pay off his debts he would gladly return to the farm. The father again consented and Mr. Lawler once more took up his abode on the old homestead. At the age of twenty-three years he assumed the management of the farm, which he operated continuously and successfully for ten years. He and his father than traded the property for a stock of hardware in Girard and were connected with mercantile interests in that city, but at a recent date they disposed of their store there. Mr. Lawler then turned his attention to real estate operations as a partner of N. J. Johnston, of Nevada, Missouri, and spent one year in that place. He afterward came to Farlington and he traded one hundred and sixty acres of land in western Kansas for the store and stock which he now owns. At that time the store contained but fifty dollars' worth of goods, but he has constantly enlarged this until he now carries a stock valued at about three thousand dollars. On the 2d of January, 1901, he purchased his father's interest in the business and has since been sole proprietor. In the conduct of his mercantile enterprise he follows progressive and modern methods and at the same time he is strictly honorable in all his trade transactions, so that he enjoys the unqualified respect and confidence of his fellow men. In addition to his store he also owns four lots and a good residence in Farlington. He deals to some extent in real estate, places loans and is also land and immigration agent for the Frisco Railroad Company.

In March, 1883, occurred the marriage of Mr. Lawler and Miss Lillian F. Spicer, the eldest daughter of J. W. Spicer, of Pittsburg, Kansas. They now have two children: Roscoe C., who is associated with his father in the conduct of his store; and Lota Pearl, who at the age of sixteen years is attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Lawler hold membership in the Baptist church, taking an active part in its work and contributing liberally to its support. He is also identified with Girard lodge, No. 93, F. & A. M., and is also connected with the Modern Woodmen Camp, No. 6072. He has been township trustee for four terms and as a public official is loyal to the general good, while in all matters of citizenship he seeks the general welfare, and in his community he has co-operated largely in measures for the improvement and progress of the town along substantial lines. He is indeed a wide-awake business man, recognizing the possibilities of the great and growing west and he is contributing his full share to the promotion of community interests.