Elisha D. Lawler was a medical doctor who according to the U.S. census was born in Ohio in 1803 although no trace of his family has been found. He practiced medicine in a little town in Ohio called Mechanicsburg. When he went there to practice there were already several other doctors in the community, but my understanding is that in the 1830's it was a rough and ready village that kept the doctors busy. He appears frequently in the history of the town. One story has it that he belong to the Methodist Church and belonged to the Women's Christian Temperance League. He met Mary Ann Owen and married her on 27 Nov. 1832. I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't met at the church because she, too belonged to the WCTU. E.D. continued to practice medicine in Mechanisburg until his death. He purchased the land next to his house which is still called the "Lawler Orchard." He died without a will and when the estate was settled there was not a great deal left. Mary Ann was forced to sell much of the land. He is buried in Mechanicsburg.
After their marriage it is recorded that E.D. as he was known bought property on the main street of the town and erected a very fine home which is standing today as a National Landmark. It is marked with a bronze plaque designating that it was once the Lawler's Tavern. It was not uncommon for a doctor to have other businesses in those days.
E.D. and Mary Ann had a number of children, but only two were known to have lived. The were both boys, Orlando B. born in 1839 and who died on 24 Sep 1864 during the Civil War and was buried in Atlanta. James W., my great grandfather, was born 27 Nov 1839 and died 6 Dec 1910 in Lima, Ohio. James fought in the Civil War, but returned from the war with only a few scars to show. He worked in the hotel with his mother and was a house painter. He was quite a musician and played cornet in the local band. He married a girl by the name of Anna Guy. Very little is known about her, except she had been married before. They had the following children:
Celia b Dec 1867
Margaret b 22 Feb 1868
Mary b 1871
Dolly b 1872
Ada b 29 Dec 1878
Givinie b 1888 d 30 May 1898
Irene b 1890 d 22 Jul 1890
Only four of these children lived to adulthood, Celia, Margaret or Mag, Mary and Ada.
They were pretty young ladies. The three oldest set off to London, Oh to find work to support themselves and help their mother and father. I have a very sweet letter that their mother wrote to them while they were there. It is written on what appears to be wrapping paper. Celia was an expert seamstress. so she did not have any problem finding work, but the other two worked as "hired girls" for awhile. It was not long until they found the proper young men to escort them around. Margaret, my grandmother, met Kenelm Biscoe Cheseldine, called Pearl by his family. Their marriage did not take place in either London or Mechanicsburg, so it was probably frowned upon by the parents.
The E.D.Lawler line died with the marriages of these four girls. I thought that my mother always spelled the Lohler, but everything that I can find in Mechanicsburg spells the name Lawler. I have settled on the latter spelling.
I am still looking for information about E.D. Lawler and about his wife Mary Ann Owen. If I could find what the initial W. stands for in James W.'s name I think I might solve the mystery of Mary Ann's parents, but E. D. Well, I do not know.