Family Stories

Marion David Lawson – Veteran of Spanish American War – Whitley County

Marion David Lawson is buried in Briar Creek Cemetery in Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky.  This small cemetery is located just off I75 at exit #11.  Marion Lawson has a memorial marker as he was in the Spanish American War.  He volunteered for three years as he enlisted August 30, 1897, at Louisville, Kentucky, by Corporal Wood. His information from the enlistment said that he was from Whitley County, was 21, a farmer, with blue eyes, dark brown hair, had a fair complexion and was 5’10” in height.  He became a member of Company F, 7th Infantry Regiment.  He was discharged August 28, 1900, at Fort Gibbon in Alaska.  I’m not sure how Alaska figured in with the Spanish American War, but in the 1900 census, that is where he is listed as a soldier of the fort.  In the census his home was listed as Mullis, Kentucky.  He was 23, born in April of 1876, was single, a private, and can read and write.

Marion’s parents were John Wesley Lawson and Permelia Ann Perkins.  In the 1880 census of Whitley County, Marion is listed as four years old, living with John W., 35, and Permelia A., 30.  Eight children were listed in the census, aged 1-13; Marion was next to the youngest.  Only initials were listed in the census; there were five boys and three girls.

Marion David Lawson married Rhoda A. Wilson January 4, 1902, in at Bill Siler’s.  William Siler and John D. Siler were witnesses, and their residence was Maple Creek.  Rhoda Wilson’s parents were Samuel Wilson and Mary Hamblin.  There is a note from Samuel dated January 3, 1902, that says, ‘With my consent you are commanded to grant license to Marion D. Lawson and said Rhoda A. Wilson, to be married any time hereafter.’

The seven children of Marion and Rhoda are:

  1. Luther Kedron Lawson, 1903-1984
  2. Hubert Stanley Lawson, 1905-1970
  3. Albert Estill Lawson, 1908-2000
  4. Caleb Powers Lawson, 1910-1969
  5. Leslie Eugene Lawson, 1912-1999
  6. Eulah Rae Lawson, 1915-1982
  7. Carl Lincoln Lawson, 1918-1978

Marion Lawson started receiving a pension in March of 1902, at the age of 28 years, as an invalid.  I found nothing that would tell us about an injury or illness.  After Marion’s death in 1922, Rhoda received a widow’s pension beginning May 27, 1924.

Marion’s death certificate lists chronic meningitis as case of death.  Could this be a reason for an early pension, or caused later in life from something he experienced during the war?  His birth is listed as April 5, 1876, and death, September 30, 1922.  He was 45 years old.

Marion Lawson, CO F  7 INF REGT, Spanish American War, 1876-1922.  Briar Creek Cemetery, Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky.

Rhoda is listed in the 1930 census with the two younger children, Eulah and Carl.  In 1940 Carl is a truck driver.  Daughter Eula Weeks, 24, with sons Paul, 3, and Layford, 6/12, is living with her mother.

Rhoda Wilson Lawson lived for 42 years after the death of her husband, passing away December 12, 1863, at the age of 81.  She is buried in Highland Cemetery in Williamsburg.

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