biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JOHN MILLS LACEY, deceased, was born at Barnesville, Ohio, Aug. 9, 1812, and died at Oskaloosa, Iowa, May 2, 1880. His boyhood days were passed at Cadiz, Ohio, Aug. 27, 1833 he was united in marriage with Miss Eleanor Patten, a daughter of Isaac Patten, of Belmont County, Ohio. This union proved a most happy one, and was blest with six children, two of whom are deceased: Eliza A. died in 1850, in infancy, and James F. in the United States service in 1862. The living children are Mrs. Mary H. Smith, of Hannibal, Mo.; Isaac F., of Salem, Ore.; Maj. John F., whose biography appears elsewhere, and William R., of Oskaloosa, Iowa. The subject of this sketch was of French ancestry. The family originally settled in the State of Delaware, where his grandfather, Spencer Lacey, lived and died. The father of our subject, John M. Lacey, Sr., emigrated from the State of Delaware to Cadiz, Ohio, where he resided for many years. He died at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. Our subject in his newly married life settled at New Martinsville, W. Va., remaining there until 1853, when he removed to Wheeling, and in 1855 came to Oskaloosa, which he afterward made his home. Here he lived an honored and an honorable life for a quarter of a century. Although never a seeker after the honors and preferments of political life, Mr. Lacey always took an active part in every campaign, first as a Whig, and afterward as a Republican. His religious connection was with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a member for fifty years, and was a consistent and highly respected member of that religious organization. His early education was such as the common schools supplied, but he was a great reader, and kept himself well informed upon all matters of current interest. He was a genial companion, a loving husband, and a kind and indulgent father. He was never a man of more than moderate means, but his word in a financial transaction was as good as gold. In the expression of his opinions upon all debatable questions, he was ever earnest and pronounced, and the weight of his influence was ever with the moral side of every issue. His last illness was of considerable duration and great suffering. His tenacity of life and nervous force, while enduring most excruciating pain, were a source of wonder to his physician and friends. There being some doubt as to the cause of his death, a post mortem examination was held, and thirty-six gravel were found in the bladder, one nearly as large as a hen's egg. Throughout all his painful illness he looked forward to death, and hoped for it without fear and as a release from pain. His was a forceful character, strong at every point, liable only to criticism because of his radicalism in the expression of ideas which he believed to be right, but he was ever found upon the side of right, and was ever a defender of the cause of the oppressed, and his example exercised its influence upon those with whom he was associated. They might not always agree with him, but were compelled to acknowledge the soundness of the position he assumed, and though the summons came to him that sooner or later comes to all, the impress of his life and character yet remains. Those who knew him best and loved him most, miss him even yet, and speak of him reverently.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy