On the Fourth the Garden City base ball club played the Unions at the park. The number of spectators was not large. The game was a most interesting one, as the Chicago men took the lead from the first, and maintained it throughout the game, badly beating the Union's score. It is due to the Union club to say that they played under some disadvantages. Three of their best players were absent, which necessitated the employment of other men, and the changing of the regular positions of the nine.
-Missouri Republican, July 6, 1870
According to Tobias, the three missing Union players were Charles Turner, Robert Lucas, and Joseph Carr.
When it comes to the history of 19th century baseball in St. Louis, the members of the Lucas family that we're really interested in are the children of James H. Lucas. Specifically, we're interested in his sons, J.B.C. Lucas, Robert Lucas and Henry Lucas.
As mentioned yesterday, James Lucas married Marie Emilie Des Ruisseau in Arkansas in 1832. When he died in 1873, his estate was divided among his widow and children. The children of James H. Lucas included William Lucas, who was born in 1836; J.B.C. Lucas, born in 1847 (and, according to the census records, was commonly referred to as Charles); Nancy L. Johnson, born in 1849 and married to Dr. John B. Johnson; Robert J. Lucas, born in 1850; Elizabeth L. Hager, married to John S. Hager; James D. Lucas; Joseph D. Lucas, born in 1856; and Henry V. Lucas, born in 1857.
John B.C. Lucas was born on December 30, 1847, died in September of 1908 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. He is significant because he was the president of the Browns Stockings of St. Louis from 1875 to 1877 and was a member of the Union Club. I'll have more about him next week.
Robert Lucas was born in 1850 and died on May 18, 1922. He is significant because he played for the championship Union Club's first nine in the late 1860s. According to the box scores, Lucas pitched, caught and played the outfield for the Unions. He was also an attorney and, like most of the members of his family, was involved in the real estate business. Robert Lucas was described in the St. Louis Daily Republic as being an "effective left-handed twirler of the Union Club, [who] could fill any position with credit" and there is evidence of his playing baseball as late as 1875.
Henry V. Lucas was born on September 5, 1857, died on November 15, 1910 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery. He is significant because he was the founder of the St. Louis Maroons and the Union Association. Lucas' Maroons club, in 1884, was the first St. Louis baseball team to win a national championship and, in 1885, became the second St. Louis club to play in the National League (the first being his brother's Brown Stocking club). I've written plenty about Henry Lucas and you can find all of those posts over in the sidebar.
I've also posted some information about the division of James H. Lucas' estate and more general information about the wealth of his children that you may be interested in looking at. But the main point I'd like to make here is that the sons of James H. Lucas were involved in St. Louis baseball across three decades, from the 1860s into the 1880s. They were involved with three of the biggest clubs in the history of 19th century St. Louis baseball: the Unions, the Brown Stockings and the Maroons. You literally can not write the history of 19th century St. Louis baseball without mentioning the Lucas brothers. And I didn't even mention a cousin, Charles Lucas, who, like Robert Lucas, was a member of the Union Base Ball Club.
As I said yesterday, I could write a great deal more about the Lucas family and how significant they were in the history of St. Louis baseball but a lot of that stuff is here on the blog if you're inclined to look for it. My goal was just to briefly untangle the Lucas family genealogy for you and I think I did that.
It's impossible to tell the story of 19th century baseball in St. Louis without an understanding of the Lucas family and their place in the city's history. The sons of James Lucas played an important roll in the development of St. Louis baseball across three decades and their position in St. Louis society, I believe, helped legitimize and popularize baseball among the elite of the city. While I could probably write five thousand words on the family and their involvement in baseball, what I want to do here is lay out a quick genealogy of the family and some brief notes of interest. If you're interested in more information about the Lucas family, I'd recommend James Neal Primm's Lion of the Valley and Howard Conrad's The Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis.
I'll begin by quoting Conrad. Jean Baptiste Charles Lucas was the "founder of a family which has been among the first in St. Louis for nearly a century..." He was "born August 14, 1758, in the ancient town of Pont-Auderner, Normandy, France, and died in St. Louis, August 18, 1840." The first J.B.C. Lucas is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. At the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, Lucas moved to the United States in 1784, with his wife, Anne Sebin, and settled near Pittsburgh. Conrad writes that Lucas, a man of "very superior attainments and active temperament," was "elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1795, and in 1801 President Jefferson sent him west on a confidential mission, the object being to ascertain the temper of the French and Spanish residents of Louisiana. In 1803 he was a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, and after the cession of Louisiana to the United States he was at once appointed by President Jefferson commissioner of land claims and judge of the Louisiana Territorial Court. In 1805 he removed his family to St. Louis...At the same time he began investing his means in lands and lots in St. Louis and adjacent thereto, and thus laid the foundation of a splendid family fortune. He was in all things a leader during the years of his residence in St. Louis, and helped to lay not only the foundation of the city, but the foundation also of the commonwealth of Missouri. He died full of years and honor, and left a vast estate to his son, James H. Lucas, and his daughter Anne L. Hunt."
The children of J.B.C. Lucas and Anne Sebin, besides James and Anne, included Robert Lucas, who was born in 1788, educated at West Point and died in 1813; Charles, who was born in 1792, was prominent in St. Louis politics and killed in a duel with Thomas Hart Benton in 1817; Adrian, who was born 1794, was a planter and drowned while crossing an icy lake in 1804; and William, who was born in 1798 and died in 1837.
James H. Lucas, according to Conrad, "the fourth son of J.B.C. Lucas, was born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, November 12, 1800, and died in St. Louis, November 12, 1873." Like his father, he's buried in Calvary Cemetery. "He first attended St. Thomas College, in the State of Kentucky, at which institution he had for schoolmates, among others, Jefferson Davis...Afterward he attended Jefferson College of Pennsylvania, and then studied law at Hudson, New York." He settled for a time in Arkansas, where he taught school and practiced law and, in 1832, married Mary Emilie Des Ruisseau (or, as Conrad spells it, Desruisseaux). After the death of his last surviving brother, William, in 1837, Lucas returned to St. Louis where he was placed in charge of his father's estate. "To the care, conservation and development of this property he devoted the remaining years of his life, and he was also identified with many public enterprises. He was among the original subscribers toward the building of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, in which he took $100,000 worth of stock, and he was the second president of that company...He was the first president and organizer of the St. Louis Gas Company; was also a director in the Boatmen's Savings Institution, and was interested as a stockholder and director in many other financial enterprises. He was a member of the banking firm of Lucas, Symonds & Co., of St. Louis...His large holdings of real estate in St. Louis were improved during his lifetime to a great extent, and in 1872, previous to his making a division of his property, he was the owner of two hundred and twenty-five dwellings and stores."
Anne Lucas Hunt was the only daughter of J.B.C. Lucas. She was born in 1796 and died in 1879. Her first husband was Captain Theodore Hunt, a United States naval officer who died in 1832. In 1836, she married Wilson P. Hunt, the cousin of Theodore Hunt, who died in 1842. After the death of her second husband, she spent the remainder of her life managing the estate she inherited from her father and in various charitable organizations. I mention her because there is a road in St. Louis named Lucas and Hunt, which is named after her and her family.
Tomorrow, I'll cover the children of James Lucas but I'd like to point out one thing. The Lucas family was the wealthiest family in St. Louis. They were probably the largest landowners in St. Louis, with the Chouteau/Laclede family being their only real competition, and were involved in most of the largest businesses in the city. Their name and influence is all over the city, if you know where and what you're looking at. Besides Lucas and Hunt Road, there's a neighborhood and a park named after the family. Most of the prime real estate in downtown St. Louis was owned at one time by the Lucas family. The Old Courthouse, pictured above, sits on land donated to the city by the Lucas family. That's a nice piece of real estate, isn't it? And the family gave it away. That's how wealthy they were.
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