Goshen, March 31, (Special)-William A. Lawrence, first president of the village of Chester, and a member- of the Board of Trustees of that village, died at his residence in Goshen Friday morning at 5:30 o'clock, after an illness of about four weeks, from the effects of a slight paralytic stroke.
He was born at Florida, N. Y., on January 29, 1842, and started his life work among the farmers of that section at the age of twelve years. Not satisfied with this life, he started the cheese business in 1861. In the fall of 1872, he started the manufacture of cream cheese, in squares, being the first man to make them in world.
At that time, his factory was, in small house, between Chester and Goshen, and the output was two boxes a day. Since that time, the business has been built up until at the present time, the output is over two thousand boxes a day, employing twenty men, and using three hundred cans of milk a day, being the product of nearly fifty farmers of this section.
Mr. Lawrence was one of the leaders in the matter of obtaining a water supply for the village of Chester, and also in bringing the Telford roads to this village. He was a very large property owner and a director of the Chester National Bank.
He was one of the managers of the Middletown State Hospital, and was closely associated with the late Edward H. Harriman in bringing good roads to Orange county. He was the president at the Horse and Road Improvement Association of Orange county, and was the chairman of the memorial committee, which had charge of the erection of the fountain in this village in memory of Mr. Harriman, which was unveiled on February 22.
As a director of the Orange County Agricultural Society he was deeply interested in its welfare and gave of his time and energy to its growth. At the last meeting of the board, a resolution was passed directing that a bouquet be sent to Mr. Lawrence's bedside as a token of remembrance from. the other directors.
He was raised in Masonry by Monroe Lodge, and this organization will conduct their ritual at the funeral services. He also belonged to Hudson River Commandery, Knights Templar, of Newburgh and Mecca Temple, of the Mystic Shrine.
He was an ernest and active member of the Methodist- Church of Chester, and had been a trustee of the church for thirty years. A few years ago, he was one of the delegates of this church to the general conference held at Los Angeles, Cal.
He was married twice, his first wife being Miss Theresa Holbert, daughter of Major James Holbert. One son was born to them, Theodore F. Lawrence, who has been associated with his father in the cheese business at Chester.
His second, wife was Mary A. Murray, who survives him with one steps son, J. S. Murray, the well known horseman.
He is also survived by three brothers, R. D. Lawrence, of Warwick:; A. P. Lawrence, of Seattle, Wash.; Frank, of Milford, Mo., and a sister living at Deposit, N. Y.
Mr. Lawrence was one of Orange county's sterling citizens, whose end comes all to soon. He will be missed in all circles in which he moved and of whom will be said that he did no man harm because he believed in justice.
The Late W. A. Lawrence.
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