Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Henry Lucas Obituary

Henry V. Lucas, 53 years old, son of James H. Lucas, who once owned the greater part of the entire business district of St. Louis, and who bequeathed to his son more than $1,ooo,ooo, as well as millions to his other children, died late last night as a $75 a month employee of the Street Department. Base ball was the rock on which Lucas' fortunes were wrecked. In four years he lost more than a quarter of a million dollars in an effort to give St. Louis a winning ball team. At this he succeeded, but his lavish expenditures in financing an organization to fight the National League led him to disaster. A spectacular aggregation was the


which Lucas got together in 1884, after his application for a National League franchise had been rejected, and he backed teams in New York, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburg, Washington and Kansas City. The St. Louis Maroons, with their silk stockings and lambs' wool sweaters, were a sight to behold when they would march on the field. The National League, in self-defense, in 1885 gave Lucas a franchise after his St. Louis Union Association team in 1884 made the greatest record ever established in major league base ball. It won the pennant with a percentage of .850, winning 91 and losing 16 games. The next year the same team finished last in the National League. The Union Park grand stand was burned and


from base ball after 1886. About the same time a fleet of river barges which he owned was sunk in a storm, and he could not replace the boats because of his heavy base ball loses. From that time, he always said, everything he touched went wrong. To the Lucas Maroon standard flocked such old-time ball players as Jack Glasscock, Fred Dunlap, Charley Sweeney, Jerry Denny, Joe Quinn, Milt Whitehead, Jack Brennan, Dave Rowe, George Decker, Jack Kirby and Orator Schaefer. The home where Lucas was born was on the present site of the 'Frisco building, at Ninth and Olive streets, in St. Louis. Surrounding this home were the rolling meadows and fertile fields of


covering an area which now includes within its limits the Post-Dispatch building, the National Bank of Commerce, the Third National Bank, the Fullerton, Holland, Missouri Trust, Chemical, Odd Fellows', Frisco and Century buildings, the Post Office and the new Carnegie Library. The property once owned by Lucas' father is now worth one hundred or more millions.
-Sporting Life, November 26, 1910

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