William Lawson Lawhorn was born June 5, 1844 in Scott County, Mississippi. The son of Noah Lawhorn and Harriet (Slay) Lawhorn married Martha Kara (Mat) Smith on December 12, 1866 in a double wedding ceremony with her sister Elizabeth. She was only seventeen years old.
Bill Lawson Lawhorn was converted and made a profession of faith in Atlanta, Georgia in 1864 while serving his country (Civil War) under the leadership of Robert E. Lee. A band of soldiers was singing “Pass Me Not 0 Gentle Savior!” This tells us he was away from his home and family.
When Bill returned home in 1865 to Old Beach, Mississippi, he was baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist church. To this faith and fellowship his entire family served until death. The history of the family and its connections has been traced through the American lineage to some of the first families of Texas. Records show the ancestors of some go back to ancient times, to England in 1656.
Among the first families to migrate to Texas from Hillsboro, Mississippi by wagon train, the Lawhorns traveled with in-laws, relatives and close friends. There were many stops on the long journey. Sickness and other hardships caused some of the families to leave the wagon train and settle in different environs before reaching their Texas destination.
Among those who endured the trials and hardships were William Lawson and Martha Kara Lawhorn and their first six children, which were all born in Old Beach, Scott County, Mississippi. The children were Aubrey Elizabeth, Dona Inez, Martha Adelaide, William Henry, Noah Fields, and Thomas Lawson.
Their first stop in Texas was on November 5, 1877 when they registered at the old Excelsior House in Jefferson. Their first settlement was on Duck Creek, now Garland, on January 1, 1880. They did not stay there very long but moved to Rockwall County where they built their home five and one-half miles southeast of the town site, using lumber hauled by ox teams from Jefferson and Marshall, Texas. This beautiful two-story farm home was the gathering place for family and friends. The house still stands as a landmark. William Lawson and Martha Kara reared their family here. Three of their children, Oliver, 011en and Frankie, were born in the house. The daughters were married here and the first Lawhorn grandson was born here.
Down on the corner of the farm, land was set aside for a community cemetery, known today as the Lawhorn Cemetery. It’s still in fair shape and the family hopes to receive an historical marker. As you walk among the grave markers today, you can read family names of many pioneers: Haskins, Green, Webb, Sims, Keahey, Coats, Arthur, Hanley, Floyd, Horn, and others. Anniece L.awhorn
Courtesy Rockwall County History by Rockwall Historical Foundation.