Ms. Lucas is my third great grandmother. I’ve been researching my family’s history, and have become utterly fascinated by it. It’s been a joy learning about the women in my family and how they were the ones that again and again, ran the Ranch until the next generation could take over. I hope that I am able to continue the tradition!
MRS. ELLEN LUCAS.–A pioneer of Butte County, Mrs. Ellen Lucas has resided on her present ranch in Big Chico Canyon since 1865. Grandma Lucas, as she is familiarly known by everyone, is much esteemed and respected by all who know her, for her amiability and strong personality make her a favorite with all. She was born in County Cork, Ireland, December 25, 1839, the daughter of John and Margaret (Sullivan) O’Callahan, farmer folk near the city of Cork. The mother died when Ellen was only seven years of age. The father migrated to New York City, where he married a second time; and there he spent his last days.
Ellen O’Callahan was the oldest of four children born of the first union and the only one that grew to maturity. She was reared in her native land until fourteen years of age, when she came to New York City. She resided with her father until his death, when with her stepmother she removed to Boston. After a residence of four years there, however, she returned to New York. In 1865 she made the journey to San Francisco via the Isthmus. From San Francisco she then came on to Chico, where she met Paul Lucas, a meeting which resulted in their marriage on June 13, 1865. Paul Lucas was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, December 25, 1829. Coming when a lad with his parents to St. Louis, Mo., he was there reared and educated in the public schools. He crossed the plains in the pioneer days of the gold rush, coming overland with ox teams. After mining for a time in Butte County, he began to raise cattle, locating a ranch in Big Chico Canyon, to which he brought his bride; and there, by perseverance, energy, and hard work, they accumulated a competency. As they prospered they added to their holdings until they had acquired a ranch of about a thousand acres, where they pastured their cattle, using the brand 24 on the left hip. However, Mr. Lucas was not permitted long to enjoy the fruits of his labors, for he passed to the great beyond on April 3, 1880. Mrs. Lucas was left with six children, whom she reared and educated and who became creditable and honorable citizens. John L. is a prominent cattle man, and is a member of the board of trustees of Chico. Charles is a mining man, with the Guggesheims in Mexico. George is a stockman, and resides with and assists his mother in her ranching and stock business. Caty Florence, the wife of Robert Cameron, lives in Chico. Mary Elizabeth, who was the wife of Robert Nicholson, and Manie both passed away in Chico. After her husband died, Mrs. Lucas kept the family together and, with the assistance of the older children, continued raising cattle, still using the 24 brand. Besides the ranch in Big Chico Canyon, she owns a ranch at Butte Meadows where she ranges the cattle during the summer time. There she has built a comfortable home, and each summer she enjoys about six months there, in the delightful mountain climate. One of her chief pleasures is trout-fishing in Big Butte Creek, which flows right by her residence. She greatly enjoys the sport, in which she is an adept and excels. Mrs. Lucas is very appreciative of California and its great possibilities, and is very optimistic for the state’s future greatness. A Catholic in religion, Mrs. Lucas is a noble Christian woman, of high principles and strict integrity of purpose.
Transcribed by Joyce Rugeroni.Source: “History of Butte County, Cal.,” by George C. Mansfield, Pages 1074-1075, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918.