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Lawrenceville, Alabama

Source: Graciously Contributed by T Larry Smith, the Official Historian of Henry County

Lawrenceville: Post Office in operation 1849-1905, named for early settler Joseph Lawrence (Harris)

Lawrenceville was one of Henry’s early settlements in the upper end of the county north of Abbeville. The area was settled by people of quality and education. The settlement began in the early 1820's, with the families of Cassedy, Corbitt, Culver, Carter, Davis, Lawrence, Crawford, Wood, Wilcoxin, Ward, Whitehurst, McAllister, West, Thomas, and Scott. The community was named for Joseph Lawrence. He was instrumental in establishing the famous Lawrenceville Academy on land donated by he and Mrs. Lawrence.

January 22, 1858, the State Legislature incorporated the Lawrenceville Male and Female Academy by Act No. 112. The Academy was open until the beginning of the War in 1861 and went back into operation right after the war was over. There are records that show the Academy was in existence prior to 1849.

Famous students of the academy included General/Congressman/Governor of Alabama, William Calvin Oates (the only man from Henry County to become governor); noted educators Clarence McCartha and Joseph Espy; The Bowen Brothers: Gus, who founded the famous boy’s school in Nashville Tennessee and Albert, who was a missionary to China for forty years; Angus M. Scott, a noted educator and Masonic leader; and many others.


Photos by Margie Daniels

A Masonic lodge was established in Lawrenceville. A U.S. Post Office opened there in 1849 with Joseph Lawrence as postmaster. Several churches were in the community: Lawrenceville Baptist, St. Peter Baptist, County Line Primitive Baptist, and The Methodist Church. Former Lawrenceville Baptist members who had moved into Abbeville started the Abbeville Baptist Church in 1834. Several old cemeteries are in the area.

Lawrenceville was a thriving place until circa 1888 when the Lawrenceville Academy closed. This school drew students from other counties and states. The Post Office closed in 1905. Descendants of some pioneer families still remain in the community today. Few old structures remain. Four-lane highway U.S. #431 now passes on the western side of old Lawrenceville.


Old Lawrenceville Store

The wild animals were so bad that men had to take turns watching the covered wagons in which they lived until land could be cleared for houses to be built for homes for owners, homes for slaves, and barns for farm animals and feed.

These early settlers were not just ordinary people who came to Lawrenceville, but people of refinement, and education who had accumulated a good property before coming.

After the two-story structure, owned and used by the Lawrenceville Masons, Lodge #73, was destroyed by fire, they met on Saturdays, first of each month, at the Abbeville Lodge.


Lawrenceville Voting Location

This Page was Created November 2007 | Last Modified Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 02:32:47 EST