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Laurence S. Booth

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The Seattle Times
Sunday, April 5, 1953
Page 40, Column 3

L.S. Booth’s Death Another Adieu to Past

(C.T. Conover, who wrote the following obituary of Laurence S. Booth, 92, Seattle pioneer and former title insurance executive, is himself a pioneer and a member of the generation that saw Seattle grow from a wilderness settlement to a thriving city.)

The death Friday of Laurence S. Booth removed almost the last of the generation that saw Seattle through its period of adversity and struggle for existence. He was born at Battle Creek, Michigan, March 27, 1861 and came to the Northwest with his parents at the age of 2. Here he lived for 90 years.

He was a rare soul, endeared to us of all races and creeds by his sterling character, his tolerance and understanding and his natural gift of friendship. No man exceeded him in his devotion to the city and to all the worthy things in life.

Mr. Booth was poised, quiet, unassuming and utterly selfless in his loyalty to the advancement and well-being of his world. He was the most even tempered man I ever knew and one of the most lovable, with a sunny nature, a sense of humor and a rare gift of common sense. He never engaged in strife, but won through by reason and compromise and a natural gift of diplomacy.

His passing is virtually the final phase of an historic era in Seattle’s life and his going leaves a vacancy in the ranks of his friends that can never be filled.

Attended State University

Mr. Booth attended the University of Washington. At the age of 26 he became a partner in the pioneer abstract firm of Booth & Briscoe, which in the course of the years became successively the Booth & Hanford Abstract Co., the Booth Whitlesey Hanford Abstract Co. and finally the Washington Title Insurance Co., with statewide subsidiary companies. He had been Chairman of the Board of the latter company.

Mr. Booth was a trustee of the Seattle Community Fund from its inception, Deputy Auditor of King County from 1880 to 1887, a member of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, the Seattle Real Estate Board, the Northwest Real Estate Board, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Municipal League, a former President of the National Association of Title Men and a former Chairman of the State Taxation Committee of the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

Athlete and Guardsman

He was a member of the first amateur baseball organization in Seattle, the first athletic association and the first association for protection of game, the old Volunteer Fire Department and the National Guard, in which he was a Commander of Company B of the 1st Regiment.

Mr. Booth was a past President of the Pioneer Association of Washington State and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He also was active in scouting.

To no man are we more indebted for the $40 million tax limitation than to Mr. Booth. He was one of the two or three men who first purposed the measure and through the years, carried it through and maintained it against all opposition.

Wife of Pioneer Family

He is survived by his wife, who was Nell M. Crawford of the pioneer Crawford family and by two sons and two daughters: Edwin S. Booth of 1943 14th North; Mrs. Elmer T. Foss, wife of Colonel Foss, United States Army (Retired), at whose home in Los Altos, California, Mr. Booth died; Mrs. Harry A. Buckley of Urbana, Illinois, wife of Colonel Buckley, Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Illinois and Laurence S. Booth Jr. of 728 North Broadway.

Rosary for Mr. Booth will be said at 8 o’clock Wednesday night at the Bonney-Watson Chapel. Requiem Mass will be said at 10 o’clock Thursday forenoon at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Burial will be in Calvary.

The Seattle Times Wednesday
April 8, 1953
Page 44, Column 1

Deaths, Funerals

Booth, Laurence S. April 3. Husband of Nelle M. Booth, father of Elizabeth B. Buckley, Mrs. Elmer T. Foss, Edwin S. and Laurence S. Booth Jr. Also survived by fifteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Rosary at Bonney-Watson Co. this evening, Wednesday, 8PM. Requiem Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, Harvard North and East Lynn, Thursday, 10AM. Interment Calvary. Relatives request please omit flowers.

The Seattle Times Wednesday
April 8, 1953
Page 44, Column 3

Laurence S. Booth Funeral

Requiem Mass for Laurence S. Booth, 92, Chairman of the Board of the Washington Title Insurance Co., will be said at 10 o’clock tomorrow in St. Patrick’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary.

Mr. Booth died Friday in Los Altos, California. He was a pioneer of this area.

Active pallbearers will be Dr. Crawford Warren, Herbert B. Shannon, John S. Kelly, Robert M. Hurlbut, Paul D. Clyde and Norton Clapp.

Honorary pallbearers will be Frank R. Arkins, Cebert Baillardgeon, C.T. Conover, Guy B. Falconer, T.J. Ivers, Charles Kinnear, Frank C. Jackson, C.K. Poe, Elmer G. Sill and J.W. Wheeler.


Generously contributed by: Sheila Simpson