C. C. Lawson is dead!

The voice that charmed and encouraged and urged to progress is hushed.

The great heart that sent the blood coursing red with life through the arteries of his being no longer throbs.

And all Sedalia mourns.

Clay, just inanimate clay, is the body of the children's friend, the friend of mankind - Sedalia's most earnest and tireless and enthusiastic booster.

When C. C. Lawson was sent to bed by his physician - when his personality, his radiating and infectious and ever-speaking belief in Sedalia and Sedalians was withdrawn by illness from the public - there was practically a cessation of activities. The life was snapped suddenly from business organizations. The mainspring was in the shop for repairs. And now that Death has taken Lawson there will be chaos that only time can obliterate.

C. C. Lawson was the soul of kindness. For years a sufferer, physically, he bore in silence his hurts and turned to the public and to his friends an ever-smiling face. Never a man of wealth, as wealth is counted, he was always the friend of the poor - the watchful friend of the very poor. Obligations he assumed many a time to help some struggling man with a family out of pressing difficulties, and to many times he had to meet those obligations himself. Be he did not complain. He smiled. His faith in human nature was unshaken. His confidence in those whom he had befriended was sublime and supreme.

One of his chief pleasures was the giving to others that which they most desired and could least afford. At holiday times his office desk was always cluttered with presents for little children. With no children of his own, he seemed to have the spirit of universal fatherhood, and so far as his means permitted he did for the little ones what their own parents could not afford to do. He went into the by ways of life to make friends of the little ones, and he did it for the love of children. There was no motive behind Lawson's beneficences - nothing but a great heart and a divine good will.

In the business world men will say of him that he was the life - the soul and body - of the Merchants association, the Manufacturers association, the Home Industry association; and men in all parts of Missouri and the far states of the Union who have bidden him to be their guest and to bring to them the spirit of fairness and sunshine that he has made a trademark in Sedalia will say that the business of the country has lost a great factor.

But that which Sedalia has lost is something greater than this. The city has lost a friend, a real friend - a friend who radiated sunshine and spread bounties where bounties were most needed, whether he could afford them or not.

The thread of his life is broken, his great heart will pulse no more; but his body will rest in peace and his soul will live forever.

Claude Champlain Lawson was born June 6, 1870, at Foster, Bracken County, Kentucky, son of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lawson. He was married March 22, 1891, at Newport, Ky., to Miss Etta Styles, and with here, two years later, removed to Sedalia.

Since his coming to this city he has been a part of the business and social community, enlarging his friendships, his acquaintance and the scope of his work from year to year, until, at the time of his death, Monday, February 26, 1912, he was identified with the leading business and social organizations of the city.

He was a member of the Broadway Presbyterian church, of the Pettis County Bar association, of the Sedalia Boosters' club, of the Merchants and Manufacturers' association, of the Buy-At-Home club, and of the Sedalia lodge of Elks, Sedalia camp of the Modern Woodmen of America, and Fidelity council, Knights and Ladies of Security. He was secretary of the Retail Grocers' association of the city and of the state, and was much in demand as a lecturer every where. And everywhere he was the life of whatever gathering he honored by his presence, and cheered by his smile and his words of optimism. He was instrumental in federating the commercial clubs of Missouri, and was vice president of that organization.

He was also founder and secretary of the Kentucky Society of Pettis County, and numbered every Kentuckian within Pettis' borders as his friend.

Mr. Lawson had been under the doctor's orders since December, but he had been a sick man for many months. During his confinement he spoke cheerfully to friends and as recently as a week ago declared that he would get well. But his wife and his doctor and his most intimate friends realized that it was not to be. A dropsical tendency some time ago necessitated an operation, and that operation revealed the hopeless of the case. Death came to him in the morning hours of Monday and quietly he passed away.

The body will be taken to the old Kentucky home of the Lawsons for interment, leaving this city at 4:25 this (Tuesday) afternoon, after a funeral service to be held at the home, 421 East Fifth street, at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon, the Rev. R. C. Williamson, pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian church, assisted by the Rev. J. D. Prigmore, of Central Presbyterian church, officiating. The music will be in charge of Miss Jessie Smith and the pall bearers will be Messers. W. J. Maltby, Charles A. Thomas, Cord Brandt, Coby Bloch, E. R. Blair, and Charles E. Messerly.

The honorary pallbearers 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

During the session of the Pettis county circuit court Monday morning, Judge H. B. Shain made the following order which was made 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, February 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 February 27, and that causes set for February 27 be continued until 9 a.m. February 28"

The members of the Pettis County Bar association, 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 this afternoon, and a floral committee composed of Attorneys W. W. Blain, Dimmitt Hoffman and M. A. McGruder, was also appointed.

Source: The Sedalia Daily Capitol, 27 February 1912
Submitter: David O. Styles, grand nephew of Esther (Etta) Carolyn Lawson (nee Styles) and husband, Claude C. Lawson