William Tilden Lawrence

William Tilden Lawrence


Dr. William Tilden (W. T.) Lawrence was born April 1875 in Conklin, New York.  He attended Cook Academy in Montour Falls and the New York Homeopathic Medical College (now New York Medical College), graduating in 1899.  He later attended the Royal Medical College in Edinburgh, Scotland (1907-08) and studied Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in London (1909).

Following his marriage to Florence Henderson in 1900, the Lawrence’s traveled to Africa as medical missionaries with the American Board Mission in Southern Rhodesia, where he would serve for the better part of the next 46 years.  He was in charge of the hospitals at both Mt. Selinda and Chikore Missions and the only doctor in a 500-mile radius.

Dr. Lawrence trained African outstation teachers to care for simple injuries and illnesses and trained hospital assistants and nurses.  He also helped to establish the Gogoi Mission across the border in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique).  His ministry has been described as “healing, teaching and preaching, on foot, on bicycle, on horseback, by motorcycle, and finally by automobile.”

Florence Lawrence was a medical missionary nurse and “midwife for most of the European babies born in Melsetter and Chipinga Districts.”  She died 1941.  Dr. Lawrence married second fellow missionary Minnie A. Tontz in 1942.  Dr. Lawrence died in 1966 in Portland, Oregon.



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