Tucked in with a large collection of genealogy research on the Helm family (think WKU’s Margie Helm Library) recently donated to the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections was this little sketch, made in 1883 by an English visitor to Warren County.
Located a few miles north of Bowling Green, the home belonged to Nathaniel Henry Lucas (1818-1908) and his wife Mary Barton (Maury) Lucas (1832-1907). The land was originally part of a grant to Nathaniel’s grandfather and namesake, Captain Nathaniel Lucas. During the Revolutionary War, Captain Lucas wrote a letter to his wife-to-be on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown that is one of the oldest items in our collection.
The first house on the property burned during the Civil War, but soon afterward Nathaniel and Mary built this home in which to raise their family of six children. Their daughter, Virginia “Jennie” Lucas, married Margie Helm’s uncle, James W. “Jimmie” Helm in 1879; one of two couples participating in a double wedding ceremony in Mammoth Cave, they had ten children, ensuring that many members of the Helm, Lucas and related families could look on this substantial home as part of their heritage. The house remained in the Lucas family until 1956.
Click on the links to access finding aids for collections relating to the Lucas family, including the sketch of their family homestead. For more on the Helm, Lucas and other Warren County families, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.