The gentleman whose name appears above is one of Hancock countys progressive men, devoted to the best interests of the community and to all that is calculated to enhance the general welfare. He has always been a man of enterprise, wide-awake and energetic, and the activity he has displayed in his various undertakings has brought him to the favorable notice of the public as a man in every way worthy of the high esteem in which he is now held by his neighbors and fellow citizens. Mr. Lacy is a native of Hancock county and the son of one of its early settlers, Jordan Lacy, who was born December 10, 1803, in Spottsylvania county, Virginia. When a young man Jordan married Winnie Lively, also a native of Spottsylvania county, and for some years followed agricultural pursuits in West Virginia. Thinking to improve his financial condition in the west, he disposed of his Virginia farm in 1833 and, with his family and a few household effects loaded on an ox cart, migrated to Hancock county, Indiana. After looking for a favorable location he finally entered eighty acres of wild land is what is now Jackson township. Mr. Lacys early experiences were similar to those of the majority of pioneers who came to the new country with limited means and began the struggle for existence in the deep and gloomy Indiana forests. After building a little round-log cabin, he undertook the larger and more formidable task of clearing his land and in the course of a few years he had the larger part of the place in a successful state of cultivation. He was a man of energy and thrift and by careful economy saved his earnings and invested them in land whenever a favorable opportunity presented. He added to his real estate from time to time until he had over five hundred acres, which as population increased advanced greatly in value. He cleared the greater part of his land and as years went by became one of the largest and most successful farmers of Jackson township. Also one of the leading citizens of that part of the county. He served as county commissioner in 1851-52, held the office of tax collector, besides filling a number of minor positions and taking an active part in the early political affairs of the county. Originally he was a local leader of the Whig party in his township and later became a pronounced Republican, remaining such until his death, which occurred August 26, 1862. His wife survived him until May 2, 1881. She was a woman of strong character, beautiful moral nature and as a member of the Christian church did much in the way of religious and benevolent work; by reason of this she endeared herself to a large circle of friends in the community where she lived. Mr. Lacy was also a zealous Christina and subordinated every other consideration to his duty as a followed of the meek and lowly Nazarene.
The oldest child of Jordan and Winnie Lacy was a son by the name of Burd. He became a successful lawyer and at the present time lives in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where he is holding the office of probate judge; Warren, the second son, died in July, 1850; Mary departed this life in childhood; Elizabeth died at the age of fifteen; Morgan was married and died in Missouri, having left Hancock county before the recollection of his brother, George W. The next in order of birth is James A., who was born March 26, 1836. He left home when twenty years of age and, in company with a college friend, went overland to California where he remained for two years, returning to Hancock county in 1859. In 1864 he enlisted in Company E., Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, and served till the close of the war in the army of General Sherman, taking part in the grand review at the national capital after the cessation of hostilities. In 1865 he went to Leavenworth county, Kansas, of which he was a pioneer, and after remaining there five years sold his land and located in Harvey county, that state, where he lived for a period of fourteen years. At the end of that time he took up a homestead in the county of Kingman, where he has since lived, the last few years retired from active life. James A. Lacy married Catherine Hatton, of Hancock county, and is the father of nine children, namely: Walter; Cynthia, wife of James Gibson; John A.; Amanda now Mrs. R. B. Curry; George, Frank, Eri, Pearl and Francis. The mother of these children died July 19, 1901. The next after James A. was John, who died young. Then came Jane, who married John M. Gordon and lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dicie Ann became the wife of M. McCray and lives in the city of Indianapolis. Preston, who married Barbara Reeves and was formerly a farmer of Jackson township, died May 1, 1899, which she died July 14, 1902. Benton died in the year 1877. Amanda married Andrew Pauley, after whose death she became the wife of John Carson, of Greenfield. George W., the immediate subject of this sketch, is the next in order of birth and the youngest member of the fathers family.
George W. Lacy was born September 3, 1854, in Jackson township, Hancock county, and remained at home until seventeen years of age. Meantime he attended the common schools in winter and while his education is by no means complete as that of others who have enjoyed greater advantages, he is nevertheless a well informed man, his knowledge being principally of that practical kind which contact with the world imparts. He is also well read and few men are better posted upon current events or have clearer ideas and more mature judgment relative to the great political and industrial questions now before the American people.
In his eighteenth year young Lacy went to Reno county, Kansas, and entered the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, spending one year in that capacity. At the expiration of that time he became a stage driver on the line between Hutchinson and Medicine Lodge and after spending a part of one year as such returned to Hancock county, Indiana, and took up agricultural pursuits which he has since successfully followed. On the 29th of January, 1876, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Francis, who was born in this county, the daughter of Richard and Isabelle (Pauley) Francis. Mrs. Lacys father was born in Kentucky October 19, 1821, and the mother, a native of Virginia, first saw the light of day May 11, 1822. Their respective parents came to Hancock county in 1831 and were among the first permanent settlers within the present limits of Jackson township. He died in April, 1881, and she in 1891.
About two years after his marriage Mr. Lacy again went to Kansas and after traveling for a greater part of a year over the state finally took up a homestead in Ness county, where he lived until about 1892. He then disposed of his land for a liberal price and returning to Hancock county, engaged in farming and the nursery business, carrying on the latter in the vicinity of Greenfield where he has a farm well stocked with a large and splendid variety of the best fruit trees grown in this latitude.
Mr. Lacy has met with remarkably encouraging success in his business and has a wide and constantly increasing reputation as an enterprising nurseryman. He owns one hundred and twenty acres of fine land in Center township known as the Fairview farm and eighty acres in Jackson township. He is essentially a business man, having little time or inclination for public station or political preferment, devoting his entire time and attention to his agricultural interests and to the large and growing claims of the nursery.
Mr. Lacy is one of Hancock countys representative men and occupies a conspicuous place among the leading citizens of the county. He has been successful financially and today is the possessor of a handsome competence which has come to him through diligence, perseverance and honorable dealing. Personally he is a most companionable gentleman, easily approachable and his integrity has never been question nor has his private character ever received so much as a single adverse criticism. He is widely known throughout the county and his popularity with all classes of people is second to that of no other man.
Mr. and Mrs. Lacy are the parents of one child, Otto E., who was born in Russel county, Kansas, in a dug-out in 1878; he married Minnie E. Gaffney and at the present time is proprietor of a laundry in Greenfield which does a large and flourishing business.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 236-238.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI May 30, 2002.
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