Lucas Avenue

This street almost certainly honors John Henry “J.H.” Lucas (1836-1924) as it was named in 1884 along a tract he was selling with Edward Bentley and Moye Wicks. Lucas was born in Indiana and raised in Iowa; there, in 1859, he married 15-year-old Farina Bentley (1844-1924), no relation to Edward. They would have five daughters and a son. An attorney by trade, Lucas took his family to Elko, NV in 1870, then to SoCal in 1874. His mother Nancy soon picked up 861 acres in the new town of Santa Monica and the Lucases built a house there while J.H.’s brothers started up a lumber firm. J.H. had apparently separated from Farina by 1879 when he moved to Arizona. He was working in Tombstone when the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral broke out on October 26th, 1881 and he served as both judge and witness at the subsequent hearings. It was a memorable year for J.H. Lucas: his mother had been poisoned to death that June, her Chinese cook Sam Sing suspected but never charged. Lucas returned to Los Angeles in 1883 to practice law and dabble in real estate, but a few years later he left for Oakland, then Arizona, then back to Oakland. He died just two days after his ex-wife.