John Lucas Grave Marking Ceremony

ByFrank R. Thompson - Lucasville Area Historical Society

The Lucas family holds great distinction in the annals of United States military service. T.K. Cartmell, historian and author of Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendents, says, “The Lucas name is prominently mentioned in every war period from the Indian massacres to and through the Civil War.”

The records of the 55th Regiment of Virginia Militia, Berkeley County, after the Revolution through the War of 1812- years 1795-1815- are replete with changes of officer assignments. They include the names of William Lucas, Edward Lucas, Robert Lucas, Joseph Lucas, William Lucas Jr., and Edward Lucas Jr. The older men were veterans of the Indian wars and the Revolution. And, this year special respect will be bestowed in the memory of John Lucas, War of 1812 veteran and founder of Lucasville.

Honoring the Bicentennial of Lucasville, Ohio, the Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter of The Daughters of the War of 1812 will commemorate the service of Captain John Lucas with a Grave Marking Ceremony on June 22 at the historic Lucasville Cemetery. Captain Lucas rests there in the earliest section of the grounds with many other original residents of the town. The free public ceremony will be a formal recognition of John Lucas and his dedication to his country.

The United States Daughters of 1812 is a non-profit, women’s organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to serving the fraternal interests of women whose lineal ancestors served in the civil government, the army or the navy of the United States between 1784 and 1815. The members are committed to promoting patriotism, preserving and increasing knowledge of the history of the American people by the preservation of documents and relics, the marking of historic spots, the recording of family histories and traditions, and the celebration of patriotic anniversaries.

Recognized as one of the oldest cemeteries in southern Ohio, the Lucasville Cemetery has interred veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Captain John Lucas (1788-1825) platted the town of Lucasville in 1819, and he named the village in honor of his father and his mother, William Lucas and Susannah Barnes. His American family roots go far back to his Great-Great-Grandparents- Robert Lucas (1630-1704) and Elizabeth Cowgill (1630-1712) of Longbridge, Deverill, England- Quakers who immigrated to Falls Township, Pennsylvania, in 1679.

John’s father, William Lucas (1742-1814), served in the French and Indian War under William Darke (later General) and became a first lieutenant in Captain William Morgan’s company of volunteers that reinforced General George Washington in New Jersey in 1776.

John Lucas volunteered for service and commanded a regiment during the War of 1812. Upon the death of his father in 1814, John inherited much of his family’s property in Scioto County, and it was on a portion of this land that he established the town of Lucasville on August 7, 1819. He and his wife, Mary Lucas, ran a tavern in Lucasville until his death in 1825.

It is little wonder that the name of John’s brother, Robert Lucas, is indelibly impressed upon the pages of Oho history. A strong, self-reliant personality made Robert Lucas one of the most esteemed public servants of his day. Also a veteran of the War of 1812, Robert became a Brigadier General in the Ohio Militia and later a two-term Governor of the State of Ohio.

But, it is John Lucas who exemplifies the Ohio roots of the storied family. John should be remembered as the man who platted and built the town that bears the Lucas name. In 1819, John Lucas fathered a community that continues to prosper and inspire area residents. 200 years have passed since he initiated his dream of settlement in the Scioto Valley, and during this long history Lucasville remains a thriving “Valley of Opportunity.”

ByFrank R. Thompson

Lucasville Area Historical Society