From the Diary of W. D. Lucas

From Gerald R. Lucas
(Redirected from William Dote Lucas)


January 11th

In office most of day.[2] At 9:25 P.M., received a message from war depart. saying that Elwood[3] was missing in action over Yugoslavia on bombing mission. May God be with him.

January 12th

In office a little while today—All sad at home—May God bless us all. Lena[4] came in this P.M. all in great suspense—hoping God will save him.

January 13th

Another real cold, wet day. In office awhile. We are all living in hopes to hear from dear Elwood. Still praying for him. Thanks for friends.

January 14th (Sunday)

Went to Sunday School awhile—did not attend church—too sad. Attended funeral of Mr. Pryse Eager (sp?) at church in P.M. Many visited us last few days.

January 15th

In office some—no work. Still no news from Elwood—Still hoping and praying. Lena is still with us. Cold today. Doing best we can.

January 16th (A Happy Day!)

Lena went to Irvine this A.M. In office some. Had a letter late from Elwood saying safe also was confirmed by war dept. later—bailed out of plane on mission, safe back to base. Thank God.

January 17th

All indeed so happy at the Lucas house as Elwood is reported safe in Italy—missed over Yugoslavia—God was with him. All so happy.

February 28th

In office most of day. Rev. Luther Newnam died this P.M. result of a stroke Thursday. A real good man is gone.

March 12th (Monday)

In office most all day—had a letter from Harry[5] and Elwood. Nancy[6] getting ready to take off for Calif. Do not want her to go.

March 14th

In office all day working on records. Nancy left for Lexington at 6 30 P.M. on way to California. I was hurt when the baby girl left. May God be with her.

March 15th

In office all day putting on raises by Board of Supervisors—court still in session. Kindly sad and lonesome because Nancy went away.

March 16th

In office most of this day. Lonesome since Nancy left for Calif.

March 18th

Attended Sunday School and Church—was my birthday. Enjoyed a real good dinner. A nice warm day. Pearl[7] went to church at nite.

March 21st

In office most of day, worked some at home. Had a letter from Harry and a good long letter from Nancy. Gearl Henry[8] rec’vd a crate of oranges from Billy in Florida. Good.

April 1 (Easter Sunday)

Pearl attended sunrise services—we all went to Sunday School and Church—a large crowd all “dolled up”. Pearl went to church at nite.

April 10th (Tuesday)

Worked in garden—in office in afternoon. Had a letter from Elwood now in southern Italy. Had a letter from Harry away out in Pacific on a big ship.

April 12th

In office some. Wrote Elwood. President F. D. Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Ga. at 3:30 P.M. today. Came as a great shock to the nation.

April 19th (Thursday)

Worked all day at home helping on a chicken house. Billy[9] came home today from Sanford, Florida on leave. Cool tonight.

April 23rd (Monday)

Left for Frankfort early in car with J. P. Thomas, George Hogan and Sedley Stewart to appear before revenue department. Back home late. A letter from Harry today.

April 28th (Saturday)

In office some today. Billy left on train at 6:30 for Louisville thence on to Sanford, Florida. May God be with the boy. A leave of 11 days at home.

May 1

Worked in office part of day. Hitler reported killed today—may mean end of war in Europe. Had a letter from Nancy.

May 4th (Friday)

In office some in P.M. Attended a doings at school—was speaker for the occasion. Gearl H. attended play at school.

May 6th (Sunday)

Attended Sunday School & church. Visited by Gearl Eckman.[10] In office in P.M. Wrote the boys. Gearl Henry became very sick late today.

May 7th

Pearl & J. S. Darch took Gearl H. to hospital at Richmond. Was operated on for appendicitis—a bad case. God bless the dear boy.

May 8th

Went to Richmond to see Gearl in the hospital—was very sick but improving. Pearl still with him. Back home late.

May 11th (Friday)

In office working on Sheriff’s Settlement. Pearl with Gearl in hospital at Richmond. At home by myself. Very lonesome.

May 12th (Saturday)

Still hard at work in office. Was Lodge nite at St. Helens—did not go. Gearl Henry improving. Thank God.

May 15th (Tuesday)

At same work all day in office. The baby is still better. Still cool. Keeping house alone.

May 16th

In office all day—at same work. Pearl said, “Come for Gearl H. tomorrow!”

May 17th

J. S. Darch & I left for Richmond. Found Pearl and G. H. O.K. Brought them home. Glad I am. Gearl doing fine. Rain in A.M.

May 30th (Memorial Day)

To Decoursey Lucas’[11] to grave yard. Decorated Father & Mother’s grave.[12] Visited old home. Back to town in P.M.

June 7th

In office still making out tax bills. Court in session. Elwood landed in Atlanta, Ga. by plane from Italy. God bless him.

June 14th

Hard at work in office—a big crowd in town. Elwood & wife came home today—been gone long over seas.

July 6th (Friday)

At same work—began on New Virginia book. Elwood & Lena left on train today. God bless him.

July 23rd (Monday)

Gearl Henry & I went to Heidelberg spent most of day. At nite went to Delvinta to speaking. Things look good for votes.[13]

August 4th (Saturday: Primary Day)

A very busy day in town all day—hard at work. Began counting votes early. All worked until 2:00 A.M. on Sunday morning. I was ahead.

August 5th

Attended Sunday School after being up until 2:30 this morning. Slept some in P.M. Was ahead 132.

August 6th

All precincts are in but Fillmore & Ross Creek. They came in and were counted. I carried both. Won by a majority of 151. Happy day.

August 13th (Monday)

Began on tax bills after stopping to electioneer. Had to defeat L. D. Arnold which I did. Now to finish the tax bill job.

August 31 (Friday)

In office all day hard at work. Had letter and picture from Nancy & John. Elwood now in Louisville.

September 2 (Sunday)

Attended Sunday School & church with Pearl and G. H. We all attended church at nite. Prof. Arterberry was baptized.

September 15th (Saturday)

The county fair still on—a big crowd in town. Worked very little today. At nite Pearl & I attended a big O.E.S. doings at the grade school bldg. Big time.

October 20th (Saturday)

Same as above. Still hard at work taking lists, etc. Is reported that Elwood will be discharged today.

October 30th (Tuesday)

At same work all day hard at it. Pearl busy at home awaiting the arrival of Nancy & husband.[14]

October 31st

Nancy and her husband[15] came in at 3:00 A.M. today from Calif. Glad to see them. Busy all day in office.

November 24th (Saturday)

We began copying the St. Helens books—still hard at work. Pearl, G. H. & I left with Jim Cundiff & Gearl Eckman for the Cundiff hotel in Vada.

November 28th (Sunday)

Spent all day at Elbert Cunfiff’s & Jim’s. A real good time. Back home in P.M. Missed Sunday School today. First time in 1 yr.

December 25th (Tuesday)

Spent day at home with family. Elwood & Lena in from Richmond. Harry came in. John & Nancy. A great Xmas. Thank God.

December 28th

Still cold. In office at the same work. Harry still in. Billy to be in Monday. All Happy.

December 29th (Saturday)

Still cold. In office most all day checking on recap which I will take to Frankfort Monday. John West left today for Calif.

December 30th

To church & Sunday school all of us. In office in P.M. Gearl & I left on train to Lexington in route to Frankfort.

December 31st (Monday)

Gearl & I left Frankfort back to Lexington to John Eckman’s on home at 3:00 A.M. Tuesday. Billy came in today. The Darches & Pearl met him in Richmond. So ends the year of 1945. The history making year.


  1. William Dote Lucas, Sr. (b. March 18, 1883; d. October 13, 1954, Beattyville, Kentucky). See this 1995 letter from Dad for more on W. D.
  2. W. D. worked as the Lee County tax commissioner for 32 consecutive years, 8 four-year terms.
  3. Elwood Eckman Lucas (b. December 21, 1921, Primrose, Kentucky; d. December 26, 1998, Ft. Pierce, Florida). My father’s brother and probably my favorite uncle.
  4. Dad writes: “Lena [Gose Davis] was a Beattyville lass who married my brother Elwood [in 1943].”
  5. Harry Beau Lucas (b. July 31, 1920, Beattyville, Kentucky; d. May 5, 2015, Dallas, Texas). My Dad’s oldest brother.
  6. Nancy Pearl Lucas (b. November 30. 1926. Beattyville, Kentucky; d. July 3, 2014, Newark, Ohio). Nancy was Dad’s only sister and W. D. and Pearl’s fourth child, and she was quite a firecracker. I spent more time with her near the end of her life, unfortunately. She was present for a few Thanksgiving celebrations.
  7. Pearl Dorinda (née Eckman) Lucas (b. January 4, 1902, Primrose, Kentucky, d. August 16, 1992, Beattyville, Kentucky). Dad’s mom who I knew growing up on sporadic visits to Beattyville. After W. D. died, Pearl remarried twice: Elbert Cundiff (January 3, 1957) and Carl Burgess (June 1978).
  8. Gerald Henry Lucas (b. February 20, 1938. Beattyville, Kentucky). I asked Dad if his real name is “Gearl,” and as he likes to do, he skirted the issue a bit. He wrote: ‘Gearl Henry’ is your Daddy. My grandfather [John] Eckman [married to Mollie White] had a daughter (my mother) who he named Pearl and a son who he named Gearl. I was named in honor of my uncle. Some years later, someone added the letter ‘d’ to my name.” I asked: “So, is your name ‘Gearl’ on your birth certificate? Are you the ‘someone’ who added the ‘d’?” He answered, in typical Dad-fashion: “Please remember that your Daddy is from Kentucky. What are a ‘birth certificate’? I think the ‘d’ was added by someone else.......” So it’ll remain a mystery.
  9. William Dote Lucas, Jr. (b. June 3, 1924, Beattyville, Kentucky; d. March 18, 2006, Wichita Falls, Texas). I hardly knew Uncle Bill at all. I maybe saw him a couple of times in the 1970s.
  10. Gearl Henry Eckman (b. May 16, 1904, Kentucky; d. January 17, 1971, Isom. Kentucky). Pearl’s brother.
  11. Unknown. A relation, I infer, of W. D.’s.
  12. W. D.’s parents were Green Lucas and Mary Lucas (née White).
  13. For W. D.’s reelection as tax commissioner.
  14. I.e., John William West (b. July 14, 1922, Grand Island, Nebraska; d. April 6, 2014, Newark, Ohio). John was a terrific guy: a WWII veteran, like Elwood, he was a brilliant wood craftsman and a kind man. He was always happy to see me and was an avid game-player. Dad always poke fondly of John, saying that he and Nancy helped him get on his feet when Dad moved to Ohio.
  15. John—Now we know the exact date and time that the famous line, “Hi, Sailor” was delivered. Another interesting thing—he didn’t make another entry in the diary for 16 days! [Dad’s (?) note. I have no idea what this means.]