OHS Board of Directors
District 4, Norman
Term expiring 2021
Dan Lawrence joined the Oklahoma Historical Society Board of Directors on April 13, 1994, and has served as a board member or emeritus board member since that time. He has had a lifelong interest in history and got to know the society as a Civil War and Indian Wars reenactor, participating in events at Forts Reno, Washita, Gibson, and Towson, as well as OHS-sponsored events at Honey Springs, Middle Boggy, and Cabin Creek Battlefields. Lawrence also participated in living histories and candlelight tours around Oklahoma. At that time, he had his own replica full-scale 6pdr field gun, which he brought to events and school days in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. He and his gun participated in the filming of the miniseries North & South I & II, Alamo: The Price of Freedom, the PBS series The U.S.-Mexican War 1846–1848, and Oklahoma Passage. He participated in events depicting the Mexican-American War, Texas Revolution (1836), and War of 1812. The latter period took him to events and sites in Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Indiana, and Missouri. All of this allowed him to become familiar with US military history of the first half of the 19th century and to acquire many historical and period artifacts, uniforms, camping gear, and books and treatises along the way, most of which were donated to the OHS, and some to Fort Sill, in 2018 and 2019.
Lawrence spent nearly forty years working in the fields of public welfare and corrections. During his thirty-three years in corrections, he served twenty-one years in institutions in two states and at all security levels—maximum, medium, minimum, and community. He began his correctional career at a juvenile facility in Minnesota and then moved to adult corrections. He came to Oklahoma from thirteen years in corrections in Minnesota and served twenty years with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections before retiring in 2002. Lawrence received a doctorate in education from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 1991 and taught part-time at OU in the College of Education, the College of Arts and Science’s departments of Sociology and Independent and Distance Learning, and lastly in the College of Liberal Studies (CLS). When CLS instituted OU’s first-ever online bachelor’s degree, in criminal justice, Lawrence wrote and taught two initial course offerings, entitled “Criminal Justice and Corrections.” He retired from teaching in 2015 to travel with his wife, Gerdi. He lives in Norman and has three children, six grandchildren, two stepchildren, and two step-grandchildren.