Lawrence Monroe Shearer, the owner and editor of the "Olpe Optimist," was born in Osborne county, Kansas, Jan. 21, 1878, the first son of Wilson S. and Dora (James) Shearer. His father was born in Miami county, Ohio, of German-French parentage; was educated in the public schools, and attended Miami Academy. After attaining his majority he determined to start in life for himself and came to Kansas, in 1870, when the country was but little settled up. He became a buffalo hunter on the plains in the western part of the state, which occupation was a paying one during the early '70s. Subsequently, he took up government land in Osborne county and he taught school for a few years. He married Dora James, of Mitchell county, in 1876. She was a daughter of George James, one of the successful pioneer farmers near Beloit, Kan. Two children were born of this unionOsborne Perry and Lawrence Monroe. Mrs. Shearer died in 1881.
Lawrence M. Shearer received his elementary education in the public schools of Cawker City and then attended the State Agricultural College, at Manhattan, Kan. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he left college and enlisted in Company H, Twenty-second Kansas infantry, and served seven months. He then spent two years at the Chase School of Art, in New York City. On his return to Kansas he entered the State Normal School, at Emporia, and graduated with the class of 1904. Shortly before his graduation he took the government civil service examination for teacher in the Philippine Islands and was appointed. On June 11, 1904, he sailed for the Philippines and was there three years. He taught for a year and a half in the province of Rizal and a year and a half in Samar Island. Returning to the United States he reëntered the normal school, at Emporia, and graduated in the Latin course in 1908. He decided to remain in his native state and bought the newspaper plant of the "Olpe Optimist," which was owned by H. B. Albertson. Since acquiring the paper, Mr. Shearer has placed it upon a sound financial foundation, has erected a fine new brick building for it, and today the paper is the pride of the town and its owner is regarded as one of the rising young men in the newspaper profession. He is progressive in his ideas, modern in his methods, and runs a wide-awake, up-to-date semi-weekly paper.
On Oct. 6, 1910, Mr. Shearer married Mable Elizabeth French, a school teacher, and a daughter of L. A. and Paulina French. Mr. French is a farmer and lives in Lyon county.Pages 936-937 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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