Howard C. Lawrence, born August 14, 1890, was a Grand Rapids-based manufacturer and banker. Lawrence graduated from Lake Odessa High School in 1910, then in June 1911 entered the employ of the Lake Odessa State Savings Bank where he remained for ten years working his way up from bookkeeper and assistant cashier to president. In 1921, he became associated with Fred W. Green in the Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Company of Ionia, Michigan. He was first made assistant secretary-treasurer and later secretary-treasurer of the furniture company.
Lawrence service to state government began as executive secretary to Governor Fred Green, 1927-1930. In 1930, he was elected state treasurer, serving one term 1931-1932. He was later named to work with the state banking department as receiver of different banks and then as state banking commissioner, 1936-1937.
Beginning in the 1920s, Lawrence had served with the Ionia County Republican Committee. In 1929, he was elected chairman of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee serving until 1937. In 1940, he was manager of Arthur Vandenberg's campaign for president at the Republican National Convention.
Lawrence now returned to the private sector as vice president and director of the Michigan Trust Company of Grand Rapids, 1937-1944; as director, president and General Manager of the Grand Rapids Varnish Corporation; and as vice president and director of the Lake Odessa Canning Company.
Lawrence's civic positions included membership on the board of trustees of Albion College and director of the Grand Rapids Y.M.C.A. He died May 20, 1961.