French Connection

Our French Connection

In a small town in Normandy, France, the King's prosecuting attorney was Robert Edward Lucas (1760). He had a son named Jean Baptiste Charles Lucas, born August 14, 1758. This son had a classic education. He married for love, not by arrangement as was the custom of the day, and entered politics. He found his liberal learnings matched ideals of our American Revolution. In 1784 he came to the United States, settled near Pittsburgh, and was active in law and politics. He and Ann had six children. Because of his legal abilities and French background President Jefferson asked him to go West and feel out the sentiments of the settlers of Louisiana in 1801. In 1805 he was appointed commissioner of land claims and Judge of the Territorial Court. He and his family settled in St. Louis, traveling by flat boat and horseback and keelboat.

J.B.C. Lucas invested heavily in land. One piece of land he named Normandy after his home province in France. Of all his sons, James H. lived the longest. He settled in St. Louis, became a State Senator, President of the St. Louis Gas Co., director of Boatmen's Bank and the first President of the Missouri Historical Society. He contributed wisely and largely to enrich his city. He and his wife had thirteen children. On his death, circa 1872, he divided his eight hundred acres of the piece of land called Normandy among his six sons. To William he gave acreage on Natural Bridge just east of Carson Road, next to the Geiger Farms the ground we know as Bellerive Acres.

William Lucas then is our "French Connection", a fourth generation descendant from the King's prosecuting attorney in Normandy, France.