Local History: Who Was Flournoy Lucas?
This week on our local history spotlight, we answer a question requested on our Facebook page. Who was Flournoy Lucas? We should ask, "Who was Flournoy, and what was Lucas?"
Flournoy Lucas Rd is a stretch of roadway bordering the south of Shreveport starting at Bert Kouns to the west, traveling east until it skips over (via Bert Kouns) picking up again at Crabapple Dr, then east again to E. Kings close to the river.
But unlike other street names that I've written about, Flournoy Lucas isn't just a person. The Flournoy part is named after the prominent Flournoy family who settled in Caddo Parish, about one mile east of Greenwood, in the mid-19th century.
The patriarch of the family, Alonzo Flournoy (1820-1886), became the Sheriff of Caddo Parish and owned the Garrett Hotel in Greenwood. Alonzo's son, James Patteson "JPat" Flournoy, Sr. was the Caddo Parish sheriff from 1906–1916, and had previously been the Shreveport municipal auditor, parish tax assessor, and coroner, at a time when medical examiners in Louisiana need not have been physicians. (Wikipedia) JPat's son went on to become the longest running Sheriff in Caddo Parish. His 26 year term has yet to be surpassed.
Other than their career in law enforcement and politics, the Flournoys were wealthy planters that controlled most of the land on the west side of town, and that entire tract of land was called the Flournoy Settlement.
On the east side of town, where the road now ends, was an Italian settlement called Lucas. Lucas was a community of Italian immigrants engaged in dairying and truck-gardening for the Shreveport market. The railroad used to run adjacent to the settlement, so the Lucas residents (all 30 of them) were instrumental in the agriculture and shipment of goods in and out of Shreveport. It would seem that the Flournoy family would farm, then using a roadway connecting the two settlements, would bring goods to the Lucas settlement to be shipped out on the railway.
And that is how Flournoy Lucas got its name.
Here is a picture of the old Lucas Rail Station taken in 1986.
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