Lawrence Petrus from class photo (courtesy of Skidmore Museum).

Lawrence Petrus

Lawrence Petrus was born July 24, 1912. Lawrence married Katy Mae Estes (Katy Mae passed away on Christmas day, 1999). They had four children, the last of which, Beverly Lynn, was born after Lawrence's death.

Patricia Ann Petrus.
Cordellia Gayle Petrus.

Ferdinand Lawrence Petrus
Beverly Lynn Petrus.

According to Lawrence's daughter, Patricia, her father was crippled by polio as a child.

My father died when I was young, so I never got to know very much about his family. My brother,when he was younger, looked a lot like my dad... my mom told us that our dad had polio when he was a child, and one of his legs was shorter than the other... He was a carpenter; and my brother [Ferdinand] was a carpenter also. -- Patricia Ann Petrus/Turpin.

Lawrence's son Ferdinand must have been the spitting image of his father, as the similarity was mentioned by everyone I interviewed.

And Lawrence now, Lawrence was the baby and he was born clubfooted... Good lookin kid, and he ended up in Louisiana. And when Grace and I was there... he married a girl over there and they've got a bunch of children and now Lawrence is dead, Lawrence died, but we met his son that looks just like him, Grace and I did. -- Annabelle Thiele

Lawrence Petrus was run over and killed in a car accident but his family was still living in Paxville on the river bottom of the Red River. We all went out there to visit with them and had coffee and everything. They were so glad to see us and the son looked exactly like Lawrence." -- Annie Laurie Petrus

Lawrence Petrus (on left) and Ferdinand Van Mol. 1937, Texas cotton.
Photo courtesy of Anne Moseley.


Lawrence was killed May 26, 1946 by a hit and run driver and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Pineville, LA. The following newspaper clipping was found, along with others, in a box of memorabilia belonging to Anna Petrus/Parkhill (donated by Margie Petrus of Skidmore, Texas).

Rapidian's Body Found on Highway; Hit, Run Victim
Lawrence Petrus, 33, Route 1, Lecompte, near Lamourie, was probably instantly killed when struck by a hit an run driver on the U.S. 71 near his home late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Every rib in his body was broken advised Dr. L.F. Magruder, parish coroner, who visited the scene of the accident. His right arm, right knee and right ankle were also broken and he was badly bruised. W.H. McNeeley, Amite found the body lying on the edge of the pavement. He stopped a passing truck for assistance. The truck was driven by H.J. Terell, Lecompte. The body was identified by Hickman Stafford, Lecompte, Route 1. State police and Coroner Magruder were advised of the accident, Troopers W.V. Taylor and Truett Sledge answering for the state police. Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. today, at Kramer Funeral Home. The procession went to Greenwood Memorial Park for internment under the direction of the Kramers. Mr Petrus is survived by his wife, Katie E. Petrus, Lamourie; two daughters, Patricia A. and Cordellia G. Petrus Lamourie; one son, Ferdinand Petrus, Lamourie; two brothers, John and Frank Petrus of Skidmore, Texas, and three sisters, Mrs. Louis Theils of Lecompte, Mrs Ann Parkhill of San Antonio, Tex., and Mrs. Mary Holstein of Nixon, Texas.

Lawrence's daughter Patricia recalls the tragedy.

I vividly remember the night they came to our house and told my mom that he had been killed on the highway. I was four years, and eight months at the time. My brother was three, my little sister, Gayle was one, and my mom was pregnant with Lynn, who was born in December of that year. -- Patricia Ann Petrus/Turpin.


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