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Senior Grand Warden, 1877


From Proceedings, Page 1921-177:

"The longer on this earth we dwell
And weigh the varied characters of men,
The more we feel the stern, high-featured beauty
Of plain devotedness to duty."

R. W. Bro. Daniel W. Lawrence passed from this life at his home at 31 Salem Street, Medford, Massachusetts, on Monday, May 9, 1921, at the age of ninety years and seven months.

R. W. Brother Lawrence was born on Thacher Street, in the North End of Boston, on October 8, 1830. R. W. Brother Lawrence traced his descent fro, Sir Robert Lawrence of Ashton, England, who was knighted about 1190. His first American ancestor was one John Lawrence, who came from St. Albans, England, and settled in Watertown in 1635. R. W. Brother Lawrence and his brother, Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence, were children of Daniel and Elizabeth (Crocker) Lawrence. Soon after the birth of R.W. Brother Lawrence, his family moved to Medford where he was educated. in the public schools, and after graduation from the Medford High School he pursued his studies for several terms at Lawrence Academy, Groton.

In 1849, when only nineteen years of age, his love of adventure caused him to seek for gold in California in the newly discovered. gold fields of that State. He was one of the early miners on what was known as Murphy's Flat. Finding the mining life uncongenial, and the returns from his labors unsatisfactory, he came back to Medford in the following year.

In February, 1851, he went into business with his father, and in 1861 retired with a competency, largely increased in after years by judicious investments. On October 18, 1851, he married Mary Ellen Wiley of South Reading (now Wakefield). Three sons were born to them, George W., now living at Wellfleet, Mass., Rosewell B., who lives at the family home at 31 Salem Street, Medford, and Samuel W., who died a number of years ago. R. W. Brother and Mrs. Lawrence celebrated their golden wedding anniversary October 18, 1901, and the sixtieth anniversary on October 18, 1911. Mrs. Lawrence died May 24, 1912. Since that time R.W. Brother Lawrence has continued to live at the family home with his son Rosewell, having a housekeeper and much of the time a nurse, owing to the infirmities of age.

In the Civil War he served as a private in the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment in the Army of the Potomac. After his release from active service in the Union Army, he rendered patriotic and valuable aid in raising the quota of Medford. After the war he served for many years as an officer in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. For many years he was a member of the Medford Fire Department, and for a long period of time was foreman of the Hook and Ladder Company. He was interested and active in everything that concerned the welfare of his home town. He enjoyed to a remarkable degree the unqualified. confidence and love of his fellow citizens in all walks of life. He was a member of many town committees and a member of the Board of Commissioners of Sinking Funds from 1878 to 1907. He was one of the founders of the Medford Savings Bank and served continuously as secretary, treasurer, trustee and president for thirty years, from 1869 to 1899. This bank has long held a high position among the savings banks of the Commonwealth.

R.W. Brother Lawrence was a Democrat in politics, but although Medford was a strong Republican town it sent him as Representative to the Legislature in 1875, 1876, and 1880.

He was much interested, in music and was a regular subscriber and attendant at the concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was an ardent lover of baseball and retained his interest down to the very last years of his life, and was a constant attendant at the league games played in this city.

R.W. Brother Lawrence's Masonic record is a long and most useful one, and the record of the many offices which he held gives but little idea of the wide influence of his life and service as a Mason. He was made a Mason in Joseph Warren Lodge, Boston, November 24, 1858. He became Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1820 and 1871, and trustee of its permanent fund from 1872 to 1912. He was Excellent High Priest of Mystic Royal Arch Chapter of Medford in 1863 and 1864 and Grand King of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in 1877. He was District Deputy Grand Master for the First Masonic District in 1872 and was Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1877. He became an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite on November 21, 1862, was crowned an Active Member of the Supreme Council on September 21, 1898, and was elected an Emeritus Active Member of the Supreme Council on October 3, 1912.

His modesty, sincerity, quick and ready sympathy, generous and kindly impulses won him the confidence and love of aII his brethren. IIe once said to a friend that he had in early life met with a passage in a story which had made a deep impression upon his mind, and that although he felt that he had not lived up to its injunctions, he hoped it had not been without effect upon his character and conduct. He gave a copy of the words to his friend. They were as follows:

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to a human being, or any word that I can speak for the good of others, let me do it now; let me not neglect nor defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."

His own life was a fine and true living expression of these words and of the noblest ancl highest ideals of Masonic life and character.

"We simply loved him without knowing
the strength and goodness he was showing."

In accordance with his expressed wish, the funeral services were of a simple nature and were held. at his late residence in Medford. Rev. Hendrik Vossema, Pastor of the Universalist Church in Medford, read. the Scriptures, and. Rev. Edward M. Barney, formerly pastor of the same church, where R.W. Brother Lawrence had attended services, offered prayer. There was no eulogy, music, or pallbearers.

A large number of the officers and permanent members of the Grand Lodge, of Joseph Warren Lodge, of the Supreme Council 33°, and of the various other Masonic organizations of which our late Brother was a member were in attendance at the funeral. There were also delegations from the City Government, Medford Savings Bank, the Universalist Church, Lawrence Light Guard, Grand Army, and other organizations with which he had been associated. The flags on the City HaIl and other public buildings were at half mast. The remains were taken to Mt. Auburn Cemetery for burial beside his wife, father, and mother.

By the terms of his will, R. W. Brother Lawrence expressed in no uncertain way his love and devotion to the Masonic Fraternity, as well as to the City of Medford. He gave to the City of Medford three bequests, $30,000, the income to be paid to poor residents born in Medford; $25,000, the income to be paid to the School Committee, to assist in providing lunch at the High School "in token of my appreciation of the value of a high school education and in remembrance of my attendance at the Medford High School"; and 200 shares Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. Company to establish the "Lawrence Musical Fund" for "instrumental music in the open air and within one-half mile of Medford Square." IIe also left the sum of $100,000 to a hospital corporation in Medford to be formed within two years after his decease, to be used in purchasing land and constructing a hospital, and he also further provided a fund of $100,000, the income of which was to be used for the support of the hospital. A legacy of $20,000 was given to the Medford Home for Aged Men and Women.

The Masonic bequests contained in the will were as follows: $25,000 to the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, the income to be used for the Masonic Home in Charlton; $20,000 and 10 shares of the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad Company to the permanent fund of Joseph Warren Lodge of Boston, o{ which he was a Past Master; $500 each to Mt. Hermon Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Mystic Royal Arch Chapter, and- Medford Council of Royal and Select Masters. He also gave to the Harmony Lodge of Odd Fellows, and Post 66, G.A.R., the sum of $500 each.

We shall miss his genial presence and fraternal greeting, but the radiance of his life will long continue to brighten and illumine the pathway of many another. The world is richer and better and happier because he lived in it.

"Good-bye, till morning come again,
The shade of death brings thought of pain,
But could we know how short the night
That falls and hides them from our sight,
Our hearts would sing the glad refrain,
Good-bye, till morning come again."

Edwin B. Holmes,
Melvin M. Johnson,
Leon M. Abbott,

Distinguished Brothers