George W. H. Lucas, mayor of Cherokee and a leading real estate dealer, is honored and esteemed as one of the oldest citizens of Cherokee, having made this his home continuously for thirty years, and his connection with this section of the Sunflower state antedates this by about ten years, so that very few men in these whereabouts are more thoroughly identified with the life and progress of this region. He belongs to a family, in fact, which has kept pretty well on the advanced frontier of civilization in the United States, and through more than one member become conspicuous by the part taken in administrative and business affairs. The nearly seventy cycles of time which Mr. Lucas has filled out have been from an early age teeming with industrious and useful effort, and the many honors and emoluments rewarding his career have been as the recognition of a high merit and a conscientious and high-minded performance of responsibilities and duties.
Mr. Lucas was born near Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1835, being a son of Samuel and Nancy (Hitchcock) Lucas, both natives of Ohio. An uncle of Samuel Lucas was General Robert Lucas, one of the noted military and public figures in the history of the middle west during the early half of the last century. He earned his military reputation and rank with General Cass, and was a soldier with a distinguished record during the war of 1812 and in the later Indian wars in the west. He was governor of the state of Ohio for two terms, and was later appointed governor of the territory of Iowa when it formed a part of Wisconsin territory, and was also its governor when it became a separate territory. He tendered his nephew, Samuel Lucas, an appointment as Indian commissioner in the Iowa territory, and the latter, in the pioneer year of 1837, with his entire family, moved from Ohio to Iowa, locating at Bloomington, now Muscatine. That was the frontier of western civilization in those days, and there were only a few houses in the settlement of Bloomington. As Indian commissioner Mr. Samuel Lucas helped in the removal of the Sac and Fox Indians further west. He lived in Muscatine a long period of years, and died there in 1877. His wife survived him, and died a few years later in Kansas.
Mr. George W. H. Lucas was accordingly reared to manhood from the time he was two years old at Muscatine, Iowa, or near that place, most of his boyhood being spent on a farm. He remained in his native state until the Civil war, in which conflict the Lucas family were well represented. He and three of his brothers were Union soldiers. He enlisted at Muscatine in 1862 in Company F, Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, and was at once commissioned second lieutenant. He was put in the Trans-Mississippi department under General A. J. Smith, and his service was along the Mississippi river. He was appointed an aide on the staff of General Tuttle, of the Third Brigade, and as such took part in the Red River expedition, and for his bravery during this was brevetted major by General Banks.
He was mustered out at Davenport in 1865, and then came to southeastern Kansas. He took up a claim in Cherokee county not far from the present town of Cherokee, but on account of an ailment contracted in the army his health was poor in this vicinity, and he returned to Muscatine. His brothers, Joseph and Jesse, located at Cherokee at the same time. He remained in Iowa until 1874, and then returned to this part of Kansas and located at Cherokee, Crawford county, where he has lived ever since. His first enterprise here was in the mercantile business, which he continued until 1878, and he then engaged in the grain and coal business and also dealt in real estate. He took a prominent part in the development of Cherokee and this part of the county. He was secretary of the company that was organized to build the Cherokee and Parsons Railroad, a narrow-gauge road, now consolidated with the Frisco System. Mr. Lucas is now in the real estate business almost exclusively, and is the owner of valuable coal and farm lands in Crawford and Cherokee counties.
Mr. Lucas was elected to his present office of mayor of Cherokee in April, 1903, and previously he had filled several terms as councilman and in other local offices. He is one of the prominent Democrats of this section of the state, and has been a delegate to numerous conventions and chairman of the Democratic county central committee. He is affiliated with the Masons and other local lodges.
Mr. Lucas was married at Cherokee to Miss Lola E. Hitchcock, who is herself a woman of much business ability, as is evidenced by the fact that she is a director in the First National Bank of Cherokee. Mr. and Mrs. Lucas have three children, Charles, Mrs. Lillie Heap and Frank E.Pages 642-645 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
| Tom & Carolyn Ward
Home Page for Kansas
| Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project