Lawrence, James Cuthbert

James Cuthbert Lawrence, the son of James Lawrence and Martha Purdy, was born on July 20, 1888 in Toms River, NJ.  He married Mary Shepard Logan and they lived the majority of their married years in Moylan, PA.

Their children were:

James Cuthbert

Mary Martin

Ian McLaren




Some of their children, including Gordon, were born in Tennessee, where James worked for E.I. du Pont, de Nemours and Co., where he designed and oversaw the building of du Pont’s Oak Ridge, TN research facility.  (In 1917, all of DuPont’s capacity was taken to supply the Allies.  The U.S. entered World War I without a single world-scale munitions plant for its own needs. DuPont undertook the largest wartime engineering feat in U.S. history up to then and constructs a plant at Old Hickory, Tennessee, capable of producing 900,000 pounds of powder per day.  Between March 1918 and the Armistice in November, DuPont completed six of the nine 100,000 pound units.  It constructed a plant of 1,112 buildings and a city of 3,867 buildings to house the total 250,000 persons employed there during ten months.  Seven and a half miles of railroad track were laid in thirty days, and a 540 foot suspension bridge was built over the Cumberland River.)

James worked with Alfred Nobel – see note below – (and duPont) and developed black powder (gunpowder).  He, along with 2 of his sons,(James and H. Logan) worked for duPont. All the Lawrence men were chemical engineers and most of the family graduated from the Universiy of Missouri.

During the difficult war years, the young Lawrence family (there were three children then) returned to the homestead in Glasgow, Scotland.  The story goes that after nearly 3 years there, Mary Logan Lawrence grew tired of limited rations (no butter for an inveterate baker!) and yearned for home. So they returned to the US on a long circuitous voyage via navy ship, arriving just as the armistice was declared.

NOTE: Alfred Bernhard Nobel (21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. He is the inventor of dynamite. Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments. Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.


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