Lucasville is proud of her graveyards, and she, paradoxically speaking, lives in them. There are 350 living souls in the town, and the Lord, and the Lord only knows how many dead bodies are in the graveyards.
The old graveyard occupies what is known as lot No. 9 Some years ago, I can’t just say how many, the river ran along right at the foot of the second bench of this piece of ground. No one who was living in the village ever knew of any one being buried on this first elevation, but every once in a while the action of the waves would cave in a little of the bank, and a human skull would roll in a frolicsome manner down the embankment and dash into the river with the cheerful plunk of a large bull-frog; or the bones of an arm would obtrude from the soil with a weird suggestiveness that wasn’t calculated to make that spot a particular resort for the Lucasville boys and their sweethearts of summer evenings. After a time the Scioto became ashamed of its desecrations, and changes its course, so that now the channel of the river is a mile from the narrow free-holds of these worthy pioneers, and such have succeeded in holding on to their graves, will be permitted to inhabit them in peace until the trumpet sounds, and when it does there will be the liveliest time in this section that the quiet law-abiding citizens of Lucasville have seen in a long time.
As we entered the gate, or rather a breach in the fence, we almost stumbled over a prostrate slab that bore the inscription “Thos. L. Rouse, Died Oct. 16th, 1850.” “Poor Tom,” said my guide, “I must set him up. He was killed by falling from a runaway horse. His foot caught in the stirrup and he was dragged nearly a mile.”
Then we came to the little spot of ground that contains the dust of the Marshes, one of the old families in the neighborhood. There was Margaret, the consort of Richard Marsh, and Sarah the wife of William. Both of them died in the same year, 1816, one in November and the other in September. It is a singular thing, but September seems to have been a fashionable month for these folks to pass away. I venture to say that two thirds of all who are buried here died in that month. The circumstances can hardly be a chance, and is worthy the consideration of those who are interested in pathological investigation.
The Lucases, as is eminently proper, occupy a goodly space here. It is not much compared to the broad fields that belonged to them when living, by right of pioneer investiture, but, taking the circumstances into consideration, it is enough. They are never heard to complain of their lot in death.
Here lies Susannah Lucas, the beloved wife of William Lucas, who brought her, almost a bride, from her comfortable home in Virginia, to conquer the wilderness and help to found a new commonwealth, destined to be second to none in the stately sisterhood.
William cherishes all those bitter feelings of resentment that the mother country had planted in the breasts of the colonists, and his fiery Virginia heart craved nothing better than the opportunity afforded by the War of 1812 to step forth with sword in hand and reek his vengeance on the oppressors of his country. His tombstone bears testimony to his zeal and to the controlling sentiment of his life. The first two verses run:
“When Britain proud oppressed this land
He forward stepped with sword in hand.”
The thick lichen that the years have accumulated, obscures the rest, and I am indebted to the poetic genius of Uncle Joe Brant for the closing distich, taking into consideration the face that Uncle Joe has not been bred a poet, I think is not bad. It runs thus:
“When this land with peace was blessed
We found him home on his farm at rest.”
The feet of the last verse are a little troubled with corns and bunions and in-growning nails, but they will do.
Col. John Lucas also lies here. He died in 1825. He was a valiant Indian fighter and a hater of Great Britain. He raised a company for the war of 1812 and mortgaged his lands to the government for money to keep his men in food and raiment. The government never foreclosed the mortgage, however, nor extorted payment.
Robert Lucas, or rather “Governor Bob,” as he is familiarly called (Governor of Ohio from 1832 to 1836) I believe is not buried here…
A Soldier of the Revolution.
Captain William Lucas, father of Colonel Lucas is buried here. The following words are on his tombstone:
“In Memory of
Captain William Lucas,
Who departed this life on the – July AD 1814 in
The 72d year of his age. He was a man
of fair character, and disinterest-
ed benevolence, the nation’s
When Britain’ proud oppressed our land
He forward step’d with sword in hand,
To cheer the face of woe;
From lawless insult to defend,
For liberty he did content.
Nor would be answered no.
The enemy return’d with shame
He’s bury’d here with warlike fame.”
This quaint rhyme was to inform the reader that the brave old soldier was interred with military honors. Hard by, lies his wife and we read on her tombstone.
“In Memory Of
Susannah Lucas, Sr.,
Who departed this life on the 4th day of May
AD 1809 in the 64th year of her age.
My flesh shall rest beneath the ground
‘Till the last trumpet’s joyful sound
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise
And in my Savior’s image rise,
She clos’d an useful pious life
Most tender mother, loving wife,
A friend sincere a neighbor kind
A noble and a generous mind.”
The epitaphal poetry on the gravestone of William Buckles, who was born in 1794, and died in 1882, is as follows:
“But do not weep or grieve for me
You know I must go home
I was upon a visit here
And now I must return.”
Robert H. Buckles, one of the early pioneers, is interred here. He was struck on the head with a piece of iron, in the heat of a political quarrel, in the year 1828, from the effects of which he died. He was sixty years of age.
The oldest person buried here is Nancy Henry, a relative of the immortal colonial orator, Patrick Henry. She died in 1862, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.
On a moss grown and rusty stone, we find the following:
“In Memory Of
James Clark, Sr, Esquire
Who died the 16th day of August AD 1818
in the 63rd year of his age. Who lived
beloved and died respected hoping
for salvation in Christ
Great Prophet let me bless thy name
By thee the joyful tidings came
Of wealth appeas’d of sins forgiv’n
Of hell subdu’d and peace with heav’n”
And the next grave stone has this on it.
“In Memory of
Mrs. Esther Clark
Who died on the 22d of Nov 1810 in the 45th
year of her age. She was amiable be-
nevolent and pious. Few of her
Station excel’d her in virtue.
Blessed are the dead who
Die in the Lord.
What sinners value I resign
Lord ‘tis enough that thou art mine
I shall behold thy blissful face
And stand complete in righteousness.”
We next find on a neighboring tombstone the following inscription:
“In Memory Of
Mr. John Clark
Who died on the 13th of December AD 1811,
In the 25th year of his age.
Beneath these honors of a tomb
Creatures in human ruin lies
How earth confines in narrow room
An useful man when ‘ere he dies.”
It seemed to be the custom in those days, to make the tombstone an index to the good and ennobling traits of the dead.