Popular Attorney Died at Home
at Early Hour This Morning


Remains Will Be Taken East on Missouri Pacific Train
No. 8, and the Interment Will Be at Newport, Kentucky.

Claude Champlain Lawson, attorney at law and one of Sedalia's best known and most enterprising citizens, died this morning at 5:15 o'clock at his home, 421 East Fifth street, aft an illness which had confined him to his home since December 21, 1911. Death was due to tuberculosis of the bowels.

Mr. Lawson had for some time past realized the seriousness of his condition. A few weeks ago he said to his physician, Dr. Baldwin: "I wish you would tell me exactly what you think of my chance of recovery. If I am going to die I desire to put some of my business affairs in shape."

"Dr. Baldwin answered, "Well, to be candid with you, you have about two chances out of one hundred to get well."

With a smile on his face Mr. Lawson replied. "Well, we must take advantage of those two chances."

In conversation with his barber, Mr. Albert Baumgartner, at the Lawson home the past week, the popular attorney expressed the belief that he would not die of the illness that had kept him from his office for several weeks, adding: "The Lawsons do not die of disease. My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all accidentally killed."

Mr. Lawson was born at Foster, Bracken County, Ky., June 6, 1871, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lawson, who were among the best known and most highly respected residents of that section of the Blue Grass state. It was in that and adjoining county that he received his early education, and when about 16 years of age went with his parents to Newport, Ky., where he remained for several years.

While there he served as ticket agent for the Chesapeake & Ohio railway, and later as agent for the Adams Express company. From Newport, he was transferred to Manchester, Ohio, and on March 31, 1982, was married at Newport to Miss Etta Styles. [Esther Carolyn Styles, daughter of George W. Styles of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mary Jane Higham of Hyde, England].

Two years later he came to Missouri, and for a short time was engaged in traveling for various wholesale firms, and in 1896 he came to Sedalia with his wife and had since that time resided here permanently.

He first engaged in the brokerage business on coming to this city, of which he made a success, and while conducting the same spent a large portion of his time studying law. He was later admitted to the bar in the circuit court of Pettis county on May 9, 1901, Judge George F. Longan at that time occupying the bench in the Thirty-first judicial district.

As a lawyer he was among the best, enjoying a lucrative practice, and was active in many important cases in the circuit and appellate courts.

As an industrial promoter, probably no one person in Sedalia took more personal interest in the advancement and general progress of the city than Mr. Lawson, and in his death his work will be missed greatly, and a place is left vacant in the business affairs of the city that will be a hard one to fill.

He not only was at all times a hard and tireless worker for Sedalia, but was secretary of the Retail Merchants Association of Missouri for a period of several years, and as organizer and secretary of "The Buy at Home club" of this city he enlisted a membership of several thousand.

He was also a member of the Broadway Presbyterian church, and was a man who was ever ready to help those in distress at any time possible. Mr. Lawson was an ardent admirer of children, and always seemed extremely happy with some of his numerous little friends about him.

Only last week when he seemed to be greatly improved from the dread malady with which we was afflicted, he personally wrote several of his most intimate friends among the children postcards expressing his devotion for them and wishing them well.

His relapse, which followed a marked improvement in his condition last week, came Thursday night, after a day spent in the home, during which he seemed exceedingly cheerful, and for a time amused himself in singing popular melodies and conversing freely with relatives and friends. He was a great lover of books and music, and during the time the Gentlemen's Musical club as one of the organizations of the city he took active part in its meetings and also in public concerts and other features given by the club.

The Sedalia Boosters' club, the Merchants' and Manufacturers' association and all other organizations or societies for the advancement of business interest were at all times favored by Mr. Lawson, and he always put forth his best efforts in the betterment of their condition.

Besides the church mentioned previously and the several business organizations, as well as the Sedalia Bar association, Mr. Lawson held membership with the National Union, a fraternal organization, in which he carried insurance in the sum of $2,000; Sedalia lodge No 125, B.P.O.E.; Sedalia camp No 5570, Modern Woodmen of America, and Fidelity council No. [copy not clear], Knights and ladies of Security.

He was organizer of the Kentucky club, which is composed exclusively of natives of that state who came to Missouri, and of which organization he was justly proud.

At all times Mr. Lawson was greatly pleased to relate amusing anecdotes for the pleasure of his friends, and on numerous occasions he made addresses at sessions of commercial clubs and like organizations throughout Missouri and in other states. As a speaker he was instructive and entertaining, and wrote several interesting articles for newspapers and other periodicals which were greatly appreciated.

The members of the Sedalia Bar this morning, on learning of Mr. Lawson's death, immediately went into session and appointed Attorneys Lee Montgomery, O. M. Barnett, and H. D. Dow as a committee to prepare resolutions for adoption at a meeting to be held by that body Tuesday forenoon, and a floral committee composed of Attorneys W. W. Blain, Dimmitt Hoffman, and M. A. McGruder, was also appointed.

During the session of the circuit court for the February term, which is now being held, Judge H. B. Shain made the following order, which was made a part of the minutes of the proceedings of the day:

It being called to the attention of the court that our beloved and esteemed member of this bar, C. C. Lawson, has on this day departed this life, it is ordered and decreed by the court that tomorrow, Feb. 27, 1912, be set apart to pay our last tribute of respect to our beloved brother, and the court further orders that no other business be transacted on Feb. 27, and that causes set for Feb. 27 be continued until 9 a.m. Feb. 28.

Mr. Lawson is survived by his wife as well as his aged mother, Mrs. John B. Lawson, of Newport, Ky.; two brothers, Chas. T. Lawson, of that place, and Robert D. Lawson, a former Sedalian, now located at El Dorado Springs. Four sisters, also survive, as follows: Mesdames Harry Crenshaw, of San Dimas, Cal.; William Hackett, of New Iberia, La.; Edward Neider and Fred Shaw, of Newport, Ky.

The funeral will be at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. R. C. Williamson, pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian church, and the Rev. J. D. Prigmore, pastor of the Central Presbyterian church, to officiate.

The music will be in charge of Miss Jessie Smith and will consist of such sacred selections as were favorites with Mr. Lawson during his life, which was one of activity in whatever undertaking he engaged.

At the conclusion of the services the remains, accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law, George W. Styles, who was with Mr. Lawson when the end came, and who has been here since his most serious illness, will be started on Missouri Pacific train No. 8, at 4:25 o'clock, for Newport, Ky., his old home for interment.

The pall bearers have been selected from his most intimate friends in Sedalia and those who will be active chosen from various business interests, will be as follows: Messrs. W. J. Maltby, Chas. A. Thomas, Cord Brandt, W. O. Terry, John Johnston, Coby Bloch, E. R. Blair and Chas. E. Messerly.

The honorary pall bearers, selected from the various organizations with which he was affiliated, will be as follows:

From the Sedalia Bar association - John Montgomery, Jr., and R. S. Robertson.
Merchants and Manufacturers' association - M. M. Stevenson.
Kentuckians - Judge C. W. McAninch.
Boosters club - Prof. C. W. Robbins.
Elks - W. M. Johns.
Modern Woodmen of America - E. E. Codding.
Knights and Ladies of Security - George F. Boothe

Source: Sedalia Democrat, 26 February 1912
Submitter: David O. Styles, grand nephew of Esther (Etta) Carolyn Lawson (nee Styles) and husband, Claude C. Lawson