Marine Link
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Norfolk Marine Railway Company, Incorporated


J. M. Lawrence, Treasurer and General Manager

THE Norfolk Marine Railway Company, - --- represents the development of a plant mat has been in active business for half a . It was established in 1868 by John L.

Ho rotors, who sold the business June 27, 1900, 0. C. J. Colonna, who conducted it until 1906, and then sold it to the Norfolk Marine Railway Company. Inc., in December, 1906, of which the officers now are George W. Roper, president; George P. Hudson, vice president; William B. Roper, secretary; J. M. Lawrence, treasurer and ganeral manager, and C. G. Lawrence, assistant treasurer.

The company conducts on extensive business as ship and engine builders, having yards and shops n the southern branch pposite Norfolk Navy lard. The company does a large business in the building of barges, soows and towboats and executing ship repairing in all its branches. The r equipment is very complete and includes two marine railways, a complete shop equipment, making forgings and castings of all kinds, and in ad of these various branches of the business

controlling an active and increasing patronage, wich has been fully and fairly earned by prompt- ness in earning out contracts and executing orders.

Seph Maxwell Lawrence, the treasurer and . .r.era. Manager of the company, has been en- _ ged in the shipbuilding business during all his " mess life. He was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, February 27, 1867, the son of seph L. and Mary Eliza (Parker) Lawrence. He received his education in the Atlantic Collegiate Institute of North Carolina, from which he was graduated in 1886.

His grandfather, Joseph Lawrence, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 9, 1807, served apprenticeship as draftsman, shipwright and boat builder in that city, later removed to Elizabeth City, in North Carolina, and established the marine railway business of Lawrence & Martin. After some years he bought out the

interest of Colonel William F. Martin, and the name of the firm was changed to Lawrence and Son. Joseph Lawrence of that firm died September 23, 1882, and was succeeded by his son, Joseph L. Lawrence, who continued the business for some years.

His son, Joseph Maxwell Lawrence, now of the Norfolk Marine Railway Company, Inc., began his career in the shipyard at an early age during school vacations. The year following his graduation from the Atlantic Collegiate Institute (July, 1887) he removed to Norfolk, Virginia, where he was employed by the John L. Thomas Marine Railway, on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River, as assistant foreman and foreman until 1900, when C. J. Colonna became owner and J. M. Lawrence general manager. In December, 1906, the plant, with the Thomas Iron Works property adjoining, was taken over by a new organization, the Norfolk Marine Railway Company, Inc., with George W. Roper as presi-dent, J. M. Lawrence treasurer and general man-ager, and C. G. Lawrence, son of J. M. Lawrence, assistant treasurer.

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