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Lawson Family

From History of Kansas by Connelley, published in 1928. Volume 5, page 2288.
Thomas Lawson came from Ireland. He married Rachael Shriver, who was born in Iowa in 1844. They had one child, Anna L., who was born in Olathe, Kansas, September 2, 1868.         The Lawson family came to Cowley County and settled on a farm 11 miles from Winfield. In 1879 Rachael sued Thomas Lawson for divorce and it was granted. November 16, 1879, Rachael Lawson married Henry Sparrow at the M. E. Parsonage at Arkansas City.
Anna L. Lawson was educated in public schools in Cowley County. At the age of 14 she entered Winfield High School, completed the course, and after leaving school became the first cashier in A. F. Dauber’s general mercantile store.
On November 28, 1893, she was married to Mr. Harley A. Tonkinson, a native of Ohio, who came to Cowley County when about twelve years of age and grew up there, finishing his education in Winfield public schools and Southwestern College. He taught in country schools and was deputy district clerk under O. P. Fuller and Adam Staggers. After the experience as deputy clerk he engaged in the abstract and insurance business, and in the fall of 1908 was elected clerk of the District Court. He died shortly after the beginning of his first term on March 16, 1909, when only thirty-nine years of age.
At his death Mrs. Tonkinson was left with the care and responsibility of several young children. Her first child, Paul, died in infancy. Her daughter, Paulina, graduated in 1914 from the Winfield High School and married Delbert Vandaveer of Hutchinson, Kansas. The third child, Roy, died in infancy. The fourth child, Eva Lieuween, distinguished herself for brilliant attainments in the field of music. She was a graduate of the Winfield High School, received a Bachelor of Music from the Winfield College of Music, and was a teacher of music since she was fourteen years of age. She began teaching in 1923 in the Winfield College of Music, which was merged with Southwestern College in 1926. She became a member of the faculty of the fine Arts Department of Southwestern College while only twenty years old. The youngest child was Mason L., who was a senior at Winfield High School in 1928.
Mrs. Tonkinson in November, 1912, was elected clerk of the District Court of Cowley County, taking her oath of office January 13, 1913. She was chosen for a term of four years and then for two years was deputy clerk under W. L. Brown, who during 1917-18 spent most of his time with the colors in the World war, so that Mrs. Tonkinson was virtually head of the office. She was then again elected clerk of the District Court and has been reelected each successive term.
[Kay stopped at this point in writing up story. MAW]


Cowley County Historical Society Museum