April 12, 2014

Rev. Benjamin Dean & Ella Rue Coffey Lucas

Dr. Ben'j Dean Lucas
Rev. Lucas was a son of Dr. Thomas Ephraim Lucas, MD and his wife, Dorothy C. Hanna.  He was born Dec. 14, 1868 at Chesterfield Co., SC and died there on Mar. 12, 1956.  He and Ella, a daughter of Daniel Rufus and Mildred J. Lawman Coffey, born in Amherst Co., VA on Apr. 3, 1869 and died at Chesterfield on Apr. 12, 1936 were married on Jul. 8, 1903 at Lynchburg, VA.

Cert. of Reg. of American Citizen
Rev. Lucas went to China as a missionary, apparently arriving there in 1890, well before his marriage to Ella Rue in 1903.  Following the birth of their first son, Ben'j, Jr. on Sep. 9, 1906, Rev. Lucas completed a "Certificate of Registration of American Citizen" for the US Consul at Shanghai.  In that certificated he noted his birth date and place and cited Oct. 9, 1890 as the date of arrival in China "for the purpose of mission work."  It also named Ella R. Coffey as his wife and Ben'j as his son.  The form was not established until April, 1907 so, it is likely it was completed by Rev. Lucas that year to officially add the child to the family in accordance with any such requirements of the time.

Although their second child and son, Thomas Lawman Lucas was also born in China in 1910, no such form has been found for him.

Passport Application
In Apr., 1893 Rev. Lucas completed an application at the US Legation in Peking, now Beijing.  It was apparently required to replace an expired passport.

Wedding Announcement
We know from a report in the Lynchburg, VA Times-Dispatch of Jun. 23, 1903 that Ella had been teaching in China for the previous 8 years and that she intended to marry Rev. Lucas on Jul. 8 of that year.


Mar 1910 Passenger List
The family arrived in Honolulu from Hong Kong on Mar. 25, 1910 aboard the ship Siberia.  We know too from the May 1910 Chesterfield Co., SC census that Ben'j, Ella and their two sons, Ben'j, Jr. and Thomas were living in that county with his parents.

I have not found them in 1920; perhaps the family had returned to China!?.  In 1930 they were back in Chesterfield where Ben'j was employed as a high school teacher and Ella, as a public school teacher.  Their two sons were still living at home with the parents.

In 1940, Benjamin was enumerated as married, wife absent; odd because Ella had died nearly four years earlier.  Ben'j Jr. and his wife, Zenith were renting space in Benjamin's home at the rate of $5 per month.  Jr. and wife did not yet have children.

When Benjamin died in 1956 his obituary, which appeared in The Florence Morning News at Florence, SC on March 13, page 7, revealed that he had been married again after Ella died.  His second wife was Irene Worley of Bennettsville, SC.
Bennettsville, March 12 - Dr. B. D. Lucas, 87, died at 2 p.m., at his home following an illness of two months.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Hursey Funeral Home at Chesterfield.
Dr. Lucas was twice married.  His first wife Ella Coffey Lucas of Lynchburg, Va. died several years ago.  From this marriate three children survive; Mrs. J. Williams of Charleston, Dr. T. L. Lucas of Alexandria, Va. and Ben D. Lucas of San Antonio, Texas.
Other  survivors include his widow, Mrs. Irene Worley Lucas of Bennettsville; two brothers and a sister.
Dr. Lucas attended The Citadel and graduated in pharmacy from the College of Charleston.
Both Ella and Benjamin are buried at the Chesterfield City Cemetery.  Their graves can be found at Find a Grave, memorial no. 72025231 and 72025068.  Benjamin's parents are also buried at the Chesterfield cemetery.


Library of Virginia "http://www.lva.virginia.gov/" "Miss Coffey to Wed", Wedding announcement, Times-Dispatch, Vol. 1903, No. 16275, Page 3, Col 6, Richmond, VA, 24 June 1903; viewed; 24 September 2013

"Honolulu, Hawaii Passenger and Crew Lists, 1900-1959", Ancestry.com http://tinyurl.com/p5dhm37.

Passport Applications, 1795–1905. NARA Microfilm Publication M1372, 694 rolls. General Records Department of State, Record Group 59. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

"Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940", index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR3L-MHM : accessed 18 Feb 2013), Benjamin Dean Lucas and Ella Rue Coffey, 08 Jul 1903; citing reference Pg 11 Ln 131, FHL microfilm 2048489.

US Federal Census Records

Find A Grave

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