Lawtons of Cuba

Written by: Leo Lawton

During the years from 1868-1878 The Country of Cuba was in a Revolutionary War with Spain called the ten years war. In 1872 the following 5 people were registered with the US Consulate at Havana, Cuba. Harriet L Lawton, Henry Douglas Lawton, Hester Lawton, James Marsland Lawton, and Lucia L Lawton. It is unknown what, if any, connection they may have to each other, or for what reason they may have been in Cuba.

James graduated from, and his widow donated the chimes to, the West Point Chapel.

Taken from page 1226 of an unknown book. The heading at top of page reads Southern New York.

…came wife of James Marsland Lawton; Robert Anderson Jr, and Duncan Lamont Clinch Anderson, both deceased.

James Marsland Lawton, referred to above, was born in New York City, in 1830, and died there, February 20, 1895. He was a son of George Lawton, of England, and Hester Allen, of New York City, of a Hester street family, which street was named for her. As a youth he went to Cuba, in 1844, and entered the banking house of Lawton and Tolme, in which his uncle, James M Lawton, was a senior partner, the junior partner being a former British consul-general at Havana. Both members of the firm dying, Mr Lawton established the firm of Lawton Brothers (three in number), bankers and commission merchants. This firm, of which Mr James M Lawton was the head and principle owner, was of the highest character, and was interested in very many of the most important financial movements and enterprises of the day. Mr Lawton was a leading member of the Produce Exchange, and held membership in the Church club, the Historical Society of New York, the Geographical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was a communicant of Grace (Episcopal) Church. Of his union with Eliza Bayard Mackintosh Clinch Anderson, daughter of General Robert Anderson, there are no living children. Mrs Lawton retains her residence in New York City. Among the many patriotic and other societies in which she holds membership, none perhaps is so dear to her as the Roanoke Island and South Atlantic Blockading Squadron Association, in which she is held in peculiar honor, and in whose functions she takes deep interest.

The Irish Presence in the History and Place Names of Cuba

By Rafael Fernández Moya

Jaime Lawton was the owner of several haciendas in the Matanzas region, among them a sugar plantation located in the town of Ceja de Pablo, another called Mercedita, in Lagunillas, and the Hernaní coffee plantation, bought in 1852, located in the Coliseo region. He was one of the partners of the company that built the Almacenes de Regla (Regla Warehouses) in the south of Havana in 1849-1850, and set up a nail factory in Regla town, on the other side of the bay from the capital. In May 1853 he was an administrator of the Compañía de Vapores de la Bahía (Bahía Steamship Company). When Jaime Lawton died in 1857, a nephew, Santiago M. Lawton, originally from the United States, remained at the head of the business. A few years later, Santiago and two of his brothers, Benjamin E. and Roberto G. Lawton, formed a new commercial enterprise under the name Lawton Hermanos (Lawton Brothers), and in the 1870s worked as traders, import agents and consignees of boats.

William Wallace Lawton(“Social”, Habana, February 1917

After the death of the brothers Santiago M. and Benjamín E Lawton, their representative formed his own company in 1895 under the name G. Lawton, Childs y Cía., in which Roberto G. Lawton was a joint partner. The partners of this new company worked as bankers, businessmen and consignees of ships. Around 1915 G. Lawton, Childs y Cía. was being managed by William Wallace Lawton, a former employee who had been born in Havana but retained his US citizenship. One of the capital’s residential neighbourhoods owes its name to him as he spent several years in the business of urbanisation of the land in the Lawton subdivision of La Víbora. This activity, begun in the nineteenth century, gained importance in the third decade of the following century, with W.W. Lawton extending his business concerns with the establishment of a company called Compañía Constructora de Cuba S.A. (Cuban Construction Company Ltd.), which built Anglo-Saxon “cottage” style houses. One of the streets of the original lot of land was also called Lawton.