LAWSON, JOHN. - The history of many of the farmers of Sangamon County records successes, for the land there yields an abundant profit upon the investment of time and money. A number of men who have tried farming elsewhere recognize this, and leave old homes to come there to devote themselves to the cultivation and improvement of their properties. One of the men who is honored as an upright citizen and good farmer is John Lawson, of Section 18, Williams Township. He was born in Tennessee, July 11, 1832, a son of Paschal and Lucy (Robbins) Lawson, both natives of Tennessee. The parents moved to Piatt County, Ohio, in 1832, settling on a farm, where they remained until 1850, then came to Illinois, locating near Broadwell, in Logan County, not far from the Sangamon County line. There the father farmed until his death which occurred in 1882. His wife had died three years before on the same farm. There were eleven children in the family nine of whom were sons, and of all these but four survive.
John Lawson was educated in a log schoolhouse in the country districts of Ohio, and then attended only in the winter time. He tramped through the heavy snows to secure the knowledge he so craved, and before and after school and in the summers worked on his father's farm. With the rest of the family, he settled in Logan County in 1860, but seven or eight years later went to Missouri. After a year there he returned to Logan County, but later came to Sangamon County and bought twenty acres on Section 18, Williams township. This land he devotes to specialties. He attends the Methodist church, of which he is a member, and votes the Republican ticket. He is proud of the fact that he knew Abraham Lincoln, and recalls many pleasant memories of the great man.
The first marriage of Mr. Lawson occurred in Piatt County, Ohio, in 1858, when he was united with Eliza A. Rickard, born in that State, whose father came to Illinois at an early day. After a short stay, he went to Arkansas, where both he and his wife died. By trade he was a blacksmith. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson had five children, three of whom are now living: Richard, of Montana; Isa, wife of Henry Slavin, of Peoria; and William, of Springfield. Mrs. Lawson died in 1874. On October 15, 1875, Mr. Lawson married Nora Hannon, born in Christian County, Ill., September 3, 1852. Her father was born near Louisville, Ky., but came to Illinois in pioneer days, settling in Christian County where he farmed until his death. There were thirteen children in the family, all of whom are deceased with the exception of Mrs. Lawson and two others. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson became the parents of twelve children, eight of whom are living: flora, wife of Ray Birks, of Nebraska; Rosie, wife of James Lawson, of Colorado; Fannie, wife of William Burke, of Nebraska; John, of Augusta, Ill.; Thomas, of Minnesota; James, of Athens, Ill.; Orville and Ray, at home. There are twenty grandchildren and four great-grandchildren in the family.
Mr. Lawson has lived to see his children grow up and is proud of the fact that so many of them are engaged in farming, for he believes that this line of work is the most natural. Having been a farmer all his life, he appreciates the possibilities of the work, and also prefers that his offspring should lead the free lives possible in the country, removed from the temptations of city influences. Having lived in this part of the State for so many years, he remembers and appreciates the many changes which have taken place there, and looks forward to others which he believes will come to pass. His faith in the future of Sangamon County is unbounded, and he is interested in all matters pertaining to its further advancement.