LAWRENCE J. MASON. - A prominent lawyer and abstract man in Kansas City, Kansas, and a citizen who has ever done much to advance the general welfare of this thriving western city is Lawrence James Mason. He is a native son of this city, where his birth occurred on the 2nd of November, 1869, and his parents, James M. and Anna (Laurence) Mason, were born in New York and in England, respectively. When nine years of age James M. Mason lost his father and thereafter he was reared in the home of an uncle, who lived at Hiram, Ohio. In that place Mr. Mason received his preliminary educational training and there also he attended the Western Reserve College, in which he was graduated, being a college mate of James A. Garfield. After leaving college he taught school for a number of years, in the meantime studying law. He entered upon the practice of the legal profession at Springfield, Illinois, whence he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1868. There he was engaged in divers business enterprises in addition to practicing law. He was noted for his excellent penmanship and oil painting and he put the former accomplishment to good use by opening a business college in that city, the same being now known as the Spaulding Commercial College. He is a stalwart Democrat in his political proclivities. Mrs. Mason, whose maiden name was Anna Laurence, was born in England, whence she came to this country, with her parents at the age of four years. The Laurence family settled in this city, where Mrs. Mason attended high school and where she was a successful and popular teacher prior to her marriage to Mr. Mason. To this union were born fifteen children, four of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Milton A., who is identified with agricultural pursuits; Mrs. Sophia M. Boyce; Lawrence J., who is the immediate subject of this review; William H., an attorney in the employ of the West Publishing Company, at St. Paul, Minnesota; Robert B., who is a dairyman at Independence, Missouri; Mrs. Anna Sargeant, of Independence, Missouri; June G., who resides at home; Bert S., superintendent of the McCormick Distillery, at Waldron, Missouri; Richard O., who is also in the employ of the West Publishing Company, at St. Paul, Minnesota; Edward A., who is now in the United States navy, on the training ship, Pensacola; and Edwin, who is attending school at Kansas City.
Lawrence James Mason was reared to maturity in Kansas City, Kansas, where he attended the public schools until he was graduated in the local high school. Thereafter he attended the University of Kansas, in the law department of which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1893, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Immediately after his graduation he entered upon the practice of his profession in this city, where he also became interested in the abstract business. He is widely recognized as a skilled and versatile trial lawyer and as an able and well fortified counselor. In addition to his other interests here he is an extensive property owner, having improved the appearance of Kansas City by the construction of many modern homes, which are now owned and kept up by various representative citizens. Mr. Mason's father made the first set of abstract books in Wyandotte county, in 1874, and these books are now in the possession of him to whom this sketch is dedicated.
Mr. Mason married Miss Anna Rilla Stowe, who was summoned to the life eternal on the 11th of March, 1910. She is survived by three small children: Lawrence, aged eight years, in 1911; Herbert, aged four years; and Gertrude, aged two years.
In politics Mr. Mason is aligned as a stanch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and while he has never manifested aught of ambition for the honors or emoluments of public office he is ever on the qui vive to do all in his power to advance the general welfare and to conserve progress and development. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. His religious faith is in harmony with the teachings of the Christian Science church, in which he is a member of the board of trustees. He is a man of fine mental attainments, extraordinary executive ability and broad human sympathy and is held in high esteem by his fellow men.
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