Samuel Lawrason

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Samuel McCutcheon Lawrason
Louisiana State Senator for
East and West Feliciana parishes
In office
Preceded by D. W. Pipes
Succeeded by R. Emerson Thompson
In office
Preceded by D. M. Pipes
Succeeded by J. L. Street
Personal details
Born (1852-07-31)July 31, 1852
New Orleans, Orleans Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 8, 1924(1924-11-08) (aged 72)
Resting place Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in St. Francisville, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Harriet Mathews "Hattie" Lawrason (married 1875)

Samuel Lawrason, Jr. (died at three months of age in 1891) Zelia Lawrason
Annie Mathews Lawrason Butler
George C. Lawrason
Charles Lawrason
Helen Stewart Lawrason Kilpatrick
Margaret Butler Lawrason
Thomas Butler Lawrason

Levering Lawrason
Residence St. Francisville
West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

University of Virginia

Tulane University
Occupation Attorney

Samuel McCutcheon Lawrason (July 31, 1852 – November 8, 1924) was an attorney who served two nonconsecutive terms in the Louisiana State Senate from West Feliciana Parish, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is principally known for the Lawrason Act of 1898, by which municipalities in Louisiana may incorporate into towns or cities without specific clearance from the state legislature.[1][2]


Lawrason was born in New Orleans to George Carson Lawrason and the former Zelia McCutcheon. He was educated in France and Spain before he received a degree in 1872 in civil engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two years later he received a LL.D. degree from Tulane University Law School, then part of the institution known as the University of Louisiana at New Orleans, where he subsequently began his law practice.[1] Lawrason also held interests in cotton and sugar planting at different locations along the Mississippi River.[3]

In 1875, Lawrason married the former Harriet "Hattie" Mathews, daughter of Charles Lewis Mathews and the former Penelope Stewart. He then relocated his law practice and residence to West Feliciana Parish. The couple had nine children: Zelia Lawrason, Annie Mathews Lawrason Butler, George C. Lawrason, Charles Lawrason, Helen Stewart Lawrason Kilpatrick, Margaret Butler Lawrason, Thomas Butler Lawrason, and Levering Lawrason.[3] In 1891, the Lawrasons' next-to-the-youngest child, Samuel, Jr., died at three months of age on May 8 of that year.[4]

Lawrason was affiliated with the Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville, the seat of West Feliciana Parish. He was also a member of the Masonic lodge.[1]

Public service[edit]

In 1876, Lawrason was elected as parish judge and served until 1879, when the position was abolished. He was active in the Ballot Reform League and served on the West Feliciana Parish School Board from 1884 to 1905. From 1887 to 1923, he was a member of the board of supervisors of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, through which forum he became an early advocate of co-education.[1]

Lawrason's state senate terms were twenty years apart - 1896-1900 and 1920-1924.[5] He was the vice-president of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1898, the same year that he authored the Lawrason Act. In 1908, he ran unsuccessfully for the office of lieutenant governor, losing to his fellow Democrat, Paul M. Lambremont. From 1908 to 1912, Lawrason was a member of the State Board of Education, with parallel service still on the LSU board of supervisors.[1]

Lawrason's place of death is unknown. He is interred at the Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in St. Francisville.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lawrason, Samuel McCutcheon". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography ( Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography uses 1909-1924 files from the law firm Lawrason & Kilbourne in St. Francisville, Louisiana, and certain West Feliciana Parish records in writing its biography of Samuel Lawrason.
  3. ^ a b "Mathews-Ventress=Lawrason Family Papers". Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Samuel Lawrason, Jr. (1891)". Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana Senate, 1880-1920" (PDF). Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 9, 1924
Political offices
Preceded by
D. W. Pipes
Louisiana State Senator for
East and West Feliciana parishes

Samuel McCutcheon Lawrason

Succeeded by
R. Emerson Thompson
Preceded by
D. M. Pipes
Louisiana State Senator for
East and West Feliciana parishes

Samuel McCutcheon Lawrason

Succeeded by
J. L. Street