Frank Robinson Lacy

Frank Robinson Lacy was born on February 22, 1881.  He attended Prescott School until June 1894, (7-01-1917; p. 12) and during high school he chose the focus of Latin-Scientific (February 2, 1895 p. 2) courses. Later, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy (January 11, 1898, p.4) and went on to Harvard. (November 05, 1916 p 10)

Frank was an attorney and joined his father’s firm as a junior partner in 1906. The firm’s new name was (August 4, 1906 p. 2) Lacy, Brown and Lacy. A few years following his father’s death, Robert Clewell joined the Brown and Lacy firm. The new firm was known as (1-01-1915 p. 9) Brown, Lacy and Clewell. Frank announced his candidacy (November 5, 1916, P. 10) for the position of district court judge in 1916, but no news article reported that he won that election.

Frank Lacy married Jessie Hammett of Sewarn, New Jersey in 1913 and they had five children, (9-14-1913 page 8) Rachel, Margaret, Lila, Frank Robinson, and Benjamin Hammett. The Lacys entered their son Benjamin Hammet in a Baby Show sponsored by the Sunshine Circle at Finley Hospital, (May 22, 1927 p 8) where he took second place for being a “nearly perfect” baby.

Frank enjoyed golf and played in tournaments (July 1, 1906 p. 7) at the Country Club, of which he was a (9-12- 1937, p 10) member. He also enjoyed dancing (January 7, 1906, p. 2) and the newspaper reported several times when he attended dances as a young man. He even attended classes to learn the (November 16, 1913, p.6) Tango.

Frank had an interest in horses and was also a good card player.  He once won $40 and a diamond stud worth $250 from a man who was interested in playing cards with him.  Frank was a good sport (8-30-1898 p. 5) and did return the diamond to the man. He often joined friends to play cards and not always for money; sometimes the payoff was (September 13, 1903 p. 2) candy.

Mentions of the Frank Lacy family’s comings and goings were reported in the newspaper, but nowhere near the extent of the number of blurbs about his father.  The Lacy family did take a vacation to Oosberg, a Dutch settlement near Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1935, (8-19-1935 page 5) but most trips were not deemed newsworthy.

Frank Lacy was an active in the Chamber of Commerce (March 29, 1925 p. 13) and civic affairs. His law firm supported the (7-15-1934 p 7) “Make Dubuque Great” (7-08-1934 p 4) campaign. When a centennial celebration for “Historic Dubuque” was set for May 28 to June 3, 1933, Frank was appointed (11-29-1931; p 2) to the Advisory Committee.

Frank was a long-time supporter of the Red Cross and with two others launched a campaign (June 23, 1917; p. 2) in Farley in response to President Wilson’s stated goal to raise $100,000,000 for the organization. He was also in the Buildings Division to fundraise for the Red Cross (March 16, 1947 p 16) in 1947 and this division exceeded their goal with their efforts. Frank was also a member of the Elks Club (May 11, 1933 p. 6) and served as secretary in 1933.

Like his father, Frank was a strong member of the Republican party and served as a delegate for GOP (July 4, 1920 p 8) and secretary of the GOP conclave (July 11, 1946 p. 1) in July of 1946. In 1931, he tried to start a “girls’ club,” with 200 members, to entertain men traveling to Chicago for the Republican National Convention coming in 1932, (7-26-1931, p 1) which required tweaking before permission was granted.

Frank weighed in on other issues in local politics, such as the discussion of whether to change the number (December 23, 1914 p. 12) of the County Board of Supervisors from seven to three.  Frank also served on the Dubuque County Welfare Board (July 5, 1934 p.12) since it was established in 1934, until his resignation (June 27, 1955, newspaper p. 9; Res Carta p 5) in 1955. His loss was felt, especially because he had “always taken a great interest in the welfare of the people.”

Frank was a lifelong supporter of the Boy’s Club both financially and in leadership. The Boy’s Club in Dubuque was founded in 1900 and Lacy started volunteering in 1906. (11-28-1948 p. 1)  In 1910 he drew up the legal papers for the club to become incorporated. At that time, he joined the Board of Directors and held this position until 1948. When the club was fundraising in 1926, Frank was one of the first contributors (10-10-1926 p. 1) with a $25.00 donation.

The Lacy family’s support for Finley Hospital that had begun with his father Judge Benjamin William Lacy, continued with Frank’s (September 20, 1939 p. 4) involvement.  Frank also served on the Finley Hospital (December 22, 1948 p. 8) Board.

Also, like his father, Frank was an active member of his church. He was an aide to the Chief Parade Marshall (June 26, 1917, p1) during the Annual Pageant of the Sunday Schools.  Frank was elected to the vestry (January 10, 1954, p. 12) of St. John’s Episcopal church.

Frank and Jessie maintained a lifelong interest in the arts.  Frank was a founding member of the local theater company known as Dubuque’s Little Theatre (March 10, 1932 p. 8) and Mrs. Lacy was involved in the theatre company since its inception.

Frank and Jessie were also actively involved in the Dubuque Art Association. They hosted many art-related meetings (February 26, 1922 p.6) at their house. Frank was president (2-05-1929 p 7) of the Art Museum, which had space in the Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

For over 50 years, the Carnegie-Stout Public Library had a Lacy family member on its Board of Trustees. The Mayor appointed Frank Lacy to the Library Board of Trustees in October, 1912 to fill the vacancy left by his father’s death less than a month (10-18-1912 p. 4) before and he continued to serve on the Board for 39 years.  As a Library Board of Trustee member, his expertise in art was valuable in contributing to the Library’s collection.  It was during his time on the Board that two Grant Wood paintings were purchased, (December 5, 1934, p. 7) Victorian Survival and Appraisal. Frank resigned (8-01-1951, page 1) from the library board in July of 1951, but his interest in the Library’s art (8-22-1954 p.1) continued after he left the Board.

Twenty-seven years after his wife, Jessie, died (3-18-1938 p. 1) in September of 1965, Frank Robinson Lacy died in Iowa City at the home of his daughter, Margaret.  Funeral services were held at St. John’s Episcopal Church (9-02-1965 p. 20 -Res carta p. 11) and he is buried at Linwood Cemetery.