Susan Lawrence Dana and Family Papers, 1841-1942


Susan Lawrence Dana and Family Papers, 1841-1942


Dana, Susan M. Lawrence  (1862-1946) and Family [Earl R. Bice Collection]




7.5 linear inches          (1 ½ manuscript boxes)


Susan Lawrence Dana, a Springfield, Illinois art patron, philanthropist, and socialite, was the daughter of Rheuna (1837-1901) and Mary A. Maxcy (1842-1905)Lawrence. Her father was a self-made businessman with interests in building, land, railroads, mining, and banking. He was an organizer of Barclay Coal Company and became president (1894-1901) of State National Bank. He was elected to a term (1891-1892) as Springfield’s mayor and served (1893-1901) on the school board. Susan Lawrence attended Bettie Stuart Institute and was active in local social and philanthropic organizations, including the Springfield Woman’s Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, King’s Daughters’ Home for Aged Women, and Lincoln Colored Home. She married Edwin Dana (died 1900), signer Jorgen Constantin Dahl (1886-1913; changed his name to Lawrence Joergen-Dahl), and Charles A. Gehrmann. She employed Frank Lloyd Wright to design her home atFourth Street and Lawrence Avenue and a library for Lawrence School(named for her father). Her legal and business affairs were handled by Springfield attorney Earl R. Bice after 1942.



Collection contains correspondence, certificates, genealogical material, and legal, financial, and business records concerning Susan Lawrence Dana, her family (particularly Rheuna Lawrence), and friends. Topics include Rheuna’s mining and other business interests, and Susan’s husbands, travel, interest in spiritualism, and legal and business affairs.


Access:            Open for research


Acc. No.          82-41


Processed by:  Cheryl Schnirring, October 1982


                                                Susan M. Lawrence Dana and Family                                    Page 2

                                                             (Earl R. Bice Collection)                                                                                                                        Container List



Box     Folder




1          1                      Maxcy andLawrence Families – Births, Deaths, and Marriages

            2                      Lawrence and Dana Families – Genealogy and Numerology

            3                      Complete Biographical Sketch of Rheuna DrakeLawrence

            4                      Incomplete Biography of Rheuna Lawrence


                                    Rheuna Lawrence


            5                      Edward G. Lawrence – Correspondence, 1841

            6                      Rheuna Lawrence – Illinois State Register, June 18, 1857

            7                      Rheuna Lawrence – Correspondence, Gubernatorial Certificates of                                                                Appointment, and Certificates for Membership and Service in Voluntary                                        Organizations, 1864-1899

            8                      Rheuna Lawrence – Old Masonic Papers, 1870-1898

            9                      Rheuna Lawrence – Knights Templar and K.A.T.O. Papers, 1891-1897

            10                    Rheuna D.Lawrence – Financial, Legal, and Business Records, 1861-1898

            11                    Rheuna D. Lawrence – Business Records: Monthly Reports Concerning Mines                                inColorado, 1893-1895

            12                    Rheuna Lawrence – Death and Settlement of Estate, 1901-1931


                                    Susan Lawrence


            13                    Susan Lawrence – Legal; Business, and Financial Records, 1870-1937

            14                    Susan Lawrence Dana, Rheuna Lawrence, Edward Dana, and Henry W. Dana                                  – Personal Letters, 1898-1900

            15                    Susan Lawrence – Letters to and from Spirit World, 1904-1913


1 ½      1                      Horoscope for Unidentified Man Prepared by Madame Seera, 1906

            2                      Susan Lawrence – Correspondence Concerning Celia Hughes, 1905-1915

            3                      Susan Lawrence – Correspondence Concerning her Marriage to Lawrence                                         Joergen-Dahl, 1912-1914

            4                      Lawrence Joergen-Dahl – Papers, 1903-1912

            5                      Lawrence Joergen-Dahl – Obituaries, 1913

            6                      Susan Lawrence Gehrmann – Horoscope Prepared by Maud Lindon, 1915

            7                      Susan Lawrence – General Correspondence, 1912-1930

            8                      Susan Lawrence – Correspondence Concerning American Vigilant Intelligence                                 Federation, 1937-1838

            9                      Susan Lawrence and Rheuna Lawrence – Miscellaneous Newspapers                                                 Clippings, 1877-1930

            10                    Susan Z.Lawrence Conservatorship – Inventory Fragment, August 1942




“Susan Lawrence Dana and Family Papers, 1841-1942,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed April 18, 2019,