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The city of Lawson, Missouri is in both Clay and Ray counties. The land upon which the town sits was the property of Waltus Watkins in 1853, and sold to Benjamin Elston in 1864, who built a a house just west of the town site. In 1868, the St. Joseph Railroad was organized, and committed to building a track that would lead through the area. The property was purchased by Joseph Raum in 1870 for the purpose of reselling it to the St. Joseph Land Company, which was to build a depot and sell housing plots. The resulting town was first named Doniphan but, when it was learned that there was already a town in Missouri by that name, it was renamed Lawson, for L.M. Lawson, a wealthy New Yorker who was the president of the new railroad line. Since that name was in use by another Missouri community, it was called Lawson Station. When the other town changed its name, the second word was dropped, and the town became known simply as Lawson. The town was incorporated in 1871. Lawson is east of Haynesville, west of Knoxville, northwest of Vibbard, southeast of Converse, northeast of Greenville, and north of Excelsior Springs.


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