ELON J. LAWTON, M. D.
Elon Joseph Lawton, M.D., was a descendant of George Lawton, who emigrated from England in the seventeenth century and settled in Portsmouth, R. I. On a document dated April 30, 1639, his name appears among those of other residents of that place who swore allegiance to King Charles, and from his day to the present many members of the family have filled important positions in civil and commercial as well as in social and professional life. The history of not only New England but of various other States in the Union bears evidence of their public spirit, patriotism, and official capacity, while the annals of numerous communities contain notices of their deeds and labors. One Robert Lawton was for several years a deputy from Portsmouth, beginning in 1781, and another, George Lawton, who served in Col. John Cook's regiment from Rhode Island in the Revolutionary war, was wounded by a cannon-shot from a British ship on January 10, 1777, while on duty at Fayland Ferry. The men bearing the name invariably took a prominent part in their respective localities during colonial times and in many instances attained distinction for excellence in their chosen callings. Joseph Lawton, jr., eldest son of Joseph Lawton, sr., a descendant of the original George Lawton, moved from Rhode Island to near Stonington, Conn., where his son and eldest child, Joseph, was born February 11, 1780. The latter married, October 6, 1801, Nancy Dennison, who was born in Stonington in October, 1782, and died in Albion, Wis., June 18, 1854. His death occurred in Edgerton, Wis., November 1, 1866. He came to Easton, Washington county, N. Y., about 1802, but soon removed to the town of Verona, Oneida county, and settled near Rathbunville. Later he took up his residence at what was long known as Lawton's Bridge, near Higginsville, in the same town, where he was both a farmer and grocer. His eldest child, Dyer Stanton Lawton, was born in Easton, N. Y., January 27, 1803, followed farming and mercantile business at Higginsville, and died in Rome on May 11, 1855. He was married, first on December 31, 1829, to Mary Louisa Higgins, and second, after her death, to Sarah Ann Egleston, on August 29, 1833.
Dr. Elon J. Lawton, son of Dyer Stanton and Sarah Ann (Egleston) Lawton, was born in Higginsville, Oneida county, September 9, 1835, and spent his early life upon the farm and in attendance at the district schools of his native town. At about the age of eighteen he came with his father and the family to Rome, where he finished his education at the local academy. Here he became a clerk in the drug store of Dr. Harold H. Pope and while clerking also commenced the study of medicine, which he subsequently continued in the office of Dr. James M. Sturdevant. He took lectures at the Castleton (Vt.) Medical College and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and in 1858 was graduated from the Albany Medical College with the degree of M. D. He began the practice of his profession in North Western, Oneida county, and two years later removed to Verona, where he remained until January, 1870, when he came to Rome. Here he afterward resided and practiced medicine, until his death, which occurred April 18, 1895.
Dr. Lawton was a lifelong Republican and for many years took an active interest in politics. He was for some time postmaster at Verona and in 1870 was elected coroner of Oneida county, an office he filled with honesty and ability by re election for four successive terms, or twelve years. In 1890 and again in 1893 he was elected alderman from the 5th ward of Rome, and while holding that position was one of a committee appointed to select a site for the city hall. In this latter capacity he was mainly instrumental in locating that handsome structure upon the premises it now occupies. While a member of the Common Council he was one of the leaders of the Republican side and rendered effective service, not only to that body, but to his constituents and the city at large, and although a Republican his fairness, honesty, and integrity were never questioned. He was quite heavily interested in real estate and in several business enterprises, and always aided in promoting the advancement and prosperity of the community, contributing liberally to its welfare and numerous, charitable and benevolent objects. He was a prominent physician, skillful in diagnosis and the treatment of diseases, and in North Western, Verona, and Rome enjoyed a wide professional business as well as the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. He was a man of pronounced convictions and opinions, of keen discrimination between right and wrong, conscientious, genial, kind, sympathetic, and friendly.
August 9, 1870, Dr. Lawton was married in Verona to Miss Clara M., daughter of Mason Benedict, of that village, who with two chidlren--Mason Benedict Lawton and Clarabelle Benedict Lawton--survives him and resides in Rome.