The subject of this sketch, who is one of the well known fanners of
Foster township, is a scion of one of the sterling French families whose
presence in America has always been most desirable, for it is a well known
fact that the French people are thrifty, energetic and intellectual wherever
found, therefore they always contribute much to the development of any
country, and the subject's people were not unlike the rest of the immigrants
from that country.
Amel Lucas was born in Southern France on January 16, 1842, the son of Pascale and Louisa Lucas, both natives of Sonti, France, the former being a farmer and came to America in 1855 on a sailing vessel which was thirty days in making the voyage, having landed in New York City. He went from there to Taylor county, West Virginia, and purchased a farm of eighty acres. It was partly improved. He lived on this place until 1871 when he sold out and moved to Grafton, West Virginia, where he conducted a hotel until his death in August, 1892. His wife died in August, 1904. They were members of the Catholic church. He was a man who started in life in a small way and by hard work and good management he became well situated before his death. Eight children were born to the subject's parents, namely; Marie, Frank and Mary Ann, all three deceased; Amel, our subject; Victor, who is living in Taylor county, West Virginia, on a farm; John, who is living at the same place, is a butcher; Albert is an engineer on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Grafton, West Virginia, having been an engineer on this road for the past thirty years, in 1908; Louisa is living in Grafton, West Virginia.
Our subject had only a limited education. However, he attended the common schools for several terms. He lived at home until he was twenty years old and worked at teaming for several years. He saved his money and in 1872 came to Marion county, Illinois, and located in Carrigan township, where he secured one hundred and twenty acres of land on which he lived, making a success at farming for ten years, when he sold out and moved to Foster township, where he got two hundred acres at first and being thrifty and a good manager, he added to this until now he has a very fine farm of three hundred and sixty acres. It was known as the old Lee place. The subject built a comfortable, substantial and commodious home, also a convenient barn and in many ways improved the place, making it equal to any in this township; everything about the place shows thrift and prosperity. He carries on general farming with that discretion and foresight that always insures success. He is also considered an excellent judge of live stock and devotes much of his time to stock raising, no small part of his income being derived from this source. No more up-to-date farm is to be found within the borders of Marion county, and no better farmer than Mr. Lucas lives in this locality.
Our subject was happily married March 15, 1870, to Sarah E. Osborne, of Monongahela county, West Virginia. She is the refined and affable daughter of Richard and Elinore (Britt) Osborne. They formerly lived in Pennsylvania, then came to West Virginia and lived there the remainder of their lives. Mr. Osborne was a wheelwright, wagon maker and carpenter. He died in 1881 and his wife passed to her rest in 1851. Mrs. Lucas was their only child. They were known as influential and highly respected people in their community.
To the subject and wife eight children have been born, namely: Theodore Britt, who runs teams and a dray at Cement, Oklahoma; Frank is a farmer in Foster township; Lou married E. Lynch, of Foster township; Mollie is the wife of Isaac Walker, of Patoka township; Annie is the wife of Otis Davidson, of Tonti township; Osborne, Magnes and Millicent are all living at home.
Mr. Lucas served very creditably as a member of the local school board of Foster township for a period of twenty years, during which the cause of education in this township received an impetus which had never before been known. He has held other minor offices, always with credit. He is a loyal Democrat.
Mr. Lucas deserves much credit for what he has accomplished in the business world, having started life a poor man, and he has gained a position of ease and prominence in his community through his own unaided efforts, by hard work, good management and sound common sense which always brings tangible results when properly exercised. Because his industry, his honesty of purpose and his public-spirit and his loyalty to all movements looking to the good of the locality where he lives, he is highly respected by all who know him.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 510-512.