Lawrence Elementary School was completed in 1953
The school was named for Robert E. Lawrence.
Lawrence was born in Canaan, Connecticut, on December 17, 1847. He grew up on a farm and at the age of twenty-two he headed West.
He arrived in Wichita in May of 1870. Soon after his arrival in Wichita he homesteaded a section of land near what’s now Maple and Seneca Streets. While he farmed and raised cattle, he also planted maple trees along the property’s northern boundary, giving Maple Street its name.
On September 2, 1873, Lawrence married Laura Smith. They had six children.
As the city expanded, Mr. Lawrence was involved in a number of businesses including banking, real estate and construction.
In 1888 he built a stone house, Maplewood. He eventually sold the home and 15 acres to the Kansas Masons and Eastern Star for 21,000 dollars.
It would be known as the Masonic Home. The building and most of the Masonic Home was lost during a major fire in 1916. Check out the story here.
He was also active in starting Garfield University at Wichita, donating much of the land which is now where Friends University is located.
Lawrence Stadium was named in his honor, with Dumont being added later to the title.
Lawrence died in Wichita on January 28, 1911. Along with his wife Laura, he is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery.
The 2000 Bond project gave Lawrence a new addition, including four classrooms and a student support center.
Check out Wichita’s other schools.