Lawrence J Goes Transcontinental

It’s time for a little break from all that serious genealogy work. Here’s an article about one of the Indiana Casbons.[1]

Lawrence J Casbon Hudson article 1920
(Click on image to enlarge)

This article was featured in the November 9, 1920, edition of The Hudson Triangle, the newsletter of the Hudson Motor Care Company. L. J. Casbon was Lawrence John Casbon, the only son of Charles Thomas Casbon (1840—1915), and grandson of Thomas Casbon (1803-1888), my third great grandfather.

Lawrence was born August 26, 1875, probably at the family farm in Porter Township, Porter County, Indiana.[2] For those living in the area, it would have been on what is now the northeast corner of the intersection of S 300 W and W 300 S. My notes say that Lawrence lost his right hand in a mowing machine accident when he was about 14 years old. Rather than follow his father into farming, he entered into a number of apparently successful business ventures. He owned a number of pool halls, a cigar store, and a garage in a variety of cities and towns in northwest Indiana: Goshen, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Mishawaka, and South Bend.

Lawrence married Lydia May Pauter January 23, 1899, in Adrian, Michigan.[3] They never had children.

Lawrence John Casbon  Lydia Pauter
Portrait (wedding?) of Lawrence J and L. May (Pauter) Casbon, undated. Photo courtesy of Ron Casbon. (Click on image to enlarge)

This slightly different version of the story of Lawrence’s cross-country drive tells us that he was moving to Los Angeles from Indiana.[4]

Lawrence J Casbon CA Hudson article Oct 1920
(Click on image to enlarge)

I don’t know why Lawrence and May decided to move to California. I suspect he had somewhat of a restless spirit. Once there, he entered into a real estate partnership, as evidenced by this entry in the 1923 Los Angeles City Directory.[5]

Lawrence J Casbon Los Angeles directory 1923
(Click on image to enlarge)

Sadly, he did not live long to enjoy the change in climate. Lawrence died October 9, 1923 in Los Angeles.[6] His wife May lived in Los Angeles for the rest of her long life. She died at the age of 98 on June 10, 1971.[7]

[1] “One-Armed Hudson Owner Makes Transcontinental,” The Hudson Triangle, newsletter of the Hudson Motor Care Company, vol. 9, no. 51 (6 Nov 1920), unnumbered p. 3; Google Books ( : accessed 25 Jan 17)
[2] “World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards,” Lawrence John Casbon, 1918; database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 August 2016); citing St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,653,193.
[3] “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” Lawrence Casbon—May Pauter, 23 Jan 1899; database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 January 2017); citing Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, item 3 p 62 rn 16, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,512.
[4] “One Arm Enough to Handle Hudson,” The Bakersfield Californian, 30 Oct 1920, part 2, p. 4, col. 1; online images, Access Newspaper Archive (available through participating libraries : accessed 28 January 2017).
[5] Los Angeles (California) City Directory (The Los Angeles Directory Company: 1923), p. 2821, col. 2; online image, Los Angeles Public Library ( : accessed 28 January).
[6] “California, Death Index, 1905-1939”, Lawrence J Casbon, 9 Oct 1923; database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 January 2017); citing certificate no. 43379, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
[7] “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” Lydia M Casbon, 10 Jun 1971; database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 January 2017); citing Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.

3 thoughts on “Lawrence J Goes Transcontinental

    1. Yes, Thanks. I’m just trying to imagine road conditions in 1920 & what it would be like to drive solo like that. Too bad there are no descendants to enjoy his story. Jon


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