History of the Municipalities of Hudson County, New Jersey, 1630-1923/Volume 3/Lawrence, David William
LAWRENCE, David William,
Judge David William Lawrence, son of William W. and Lavinia (Hall) Lawrence, both deceased, was born in New York City, November 10, 1850. When he was two years of age his parents removed to Pike county, Pennsylvania, and there the early years of his boyhood were passed.
He attended the district schools of Pike county until he was thirteen years of age, when his family returned to New York City, and there he found employment. By working in the day time and attending evening school, he managed to contribute to the family support and at the same time gain a good education. In 1868 he removed to Jersey City, New Jersey, with his widowed mother, and there for seventeen years he was engaged in the real estate business. From the beginning of his residence in Jersey City he took an active interest in its local public affairs. In 1877 he was nominated and elected a member of the Board of Aldermen, representing the old Fifth District, and two years later, in 1879, he was elected to the State Legislature. He was reëlected for three successive terms in 1880-81-82, and during the last term was nominated for speaker of the Assembly. In 1882 he was elected police magistrate of Jersey City for a term of three years by a joint vote of the State Senate and Assembly, and the duties of that office he discharged in a manner which won the pronounced approval of the citizens. He was appointed by the Board of Finance, at the request of a committee of citizens, assessor of his district in 1885, and reappointed 1886-88, serving as president of the board for all three terms. He also served as president of the City Tax Commission for three years, from 1889 to 1892. From 1892 until 1902 he was engaged in the real estate business. In 1902 he was elected president of the Jersey City Trust Company and held this position for six years, until 1908. In addition to the efficient discharge of the duties and responsibilities already mentioned, Judge Lawrence has been for fifteen years a member of the Free Library Board, which he served as president until he resigned that executive position in 1922. He has been a manager for about twenty-five years, and a vice-president for ten years of the Provident Institution for Savings in Jersey City, and is a director of the Commercial Trust Company of New Jersey.
Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order, Scottish Rite, and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has also been interested in athletics, and was one of the founders of the Orion Rowing and Athletic Association, and was a charter member of the Palmer, Berkeley and Cartaret clubs of Jersey City.