THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
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ALBERT C LAWRENCE

Bio-Pen Pictures
SURNAMES: FESSENDEN, WARE, HARPER, SLEEPER, PURDY, EATON, KEITH

deceased.   The subject of this sketch was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1810. In his youth he learned the cabinet-making trade, at which he worked for many years.  He was also employed in Mr. Chickering's Piano Factory in Boston for some time.  In 1834 Mr. Lawrence married Miss Rhoda Ann Fessenden, who was born in 1834, the daughter of Samuel Fessenden ( a native of Maine but a resident of Massachusetts) and Sarah (Ware) Fessenden a native of Massachusetts.  Both parents were descendants of distinguished New England families.

In 1849, when the gold excitement swept through the county, the subject of this sketch was caught in the whirl, and laying aside the tools of his trade he started for  the El Dorado of the West.  The journey was made in the sailing ship Carthage, which left Boston in September, 1849, and rounding Cape Horn, arrived at San Francisco early in 1850.   After spending a short time in that city, Mr. Lawrence commenced working the mines, and continued it for nearly tow years, when he came to Santa Clara County and took possession of the estate upon which his widow now lives.  The property is situated at Lawrence, a station on the Southern Pacific Road, in the Braley District. There he commenced his life as one of  the pioneer farmers of the county, being greatly assisted in the work of cultivation and management of the farm by his son  Albert C., who left the family in Boston to join his father in 1852.  The father and son actively engaged in the  clearing and seeding of the rich soil.  Mrs. Lawrence, her son William and daughters, arrived in January, 1861, and found a house in course of erection  Mrs. Lawrence avoided the tediousness of a longer journey by choosing the Isthmus route.  With his happy, re-united family, Mr. Lawrence now commenced a life of useful, honorable activity, during which he gained the respect  of neighbors and friends.  As one of the county's earliest settlers, and as an esteemed citizen, he was widely and well known.

To years previous to his death, which occurred in March , 1886, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence celebrated their golden wedding, a fitting symbol of a long and happy married life.  Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence, of whom five are now living, viz.: Albert C., Jr., now living at Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, who married Miss Rosa E. Harper, of San Jose; William H., a resident of Los Gatos, Santa Clara County, who married Miss Susie E. Sleeper, of Boston, Massachusetts; Ellen E., the widow of Daniel Purdy, of San Francisco, now residing on the old homestead with her mother, as is also her son, Arthur F. Purdy, who is the railroad and express agent at Lawrence; Elvira E., who makes her home with her mother; and Adra A., who married Henry Eaton, of San Francisco, and being left a widow , married P. G. Keith , of Campbell Station, Santa Clara County.

The farm, which now contains but thirty-four acres, is devoted to the raising of hay and grain, with the exception of five acres in fruit-trees.  It originally comprised eighty acres, but since the death of her husband Mrs., Lawrence found the care of so large an estate more than her health would permit her to undertake, and so has decreased the acreage by sales, chiefly for orchard purposes.  In her pleasant home, surrounded by her children, she quietly spends her declining years, enjoying the prosperity earned by the united efforts of herself and husband during their pioneer days.  She is a consistent member of  the Presbyterian Church of Santa Clara.


SOURCE:  Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. page 479-480
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