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Carr and Lukens family papers

Identifier: MSS 119

Scope and Contents

The Carr and Lukens family papers, 1805-1981 and undated, is arranged into seven series. Correspondence, 1837-1924 and undated, largely consists of letters received by the female members of the Carr and Lukens families. Writings and drawings series, 1850-1918, contains diaries, poems, and artwork created by members of the Carr and Lukens families. Financial records, 1829-1946 (bulk 1837-1869), comprises one folder of financial records retained by various family members. These papers primarily consist of receipts and indentures. Genealogical data, 1905-1968 and undated, contains genealogical information and family histories compiled by Lura Lukens and other family members. Printed material, 1805-1981, primarily includes newsclippings gathered by the Carr-Lukens family and printed items owned by various members of the family. Photographs, circa 1860s-1970 and undated, includes individual portraits and group snapshots of members of the Carr and Lukens families. Realia consists of one undated stencil of William Carr's name.


  • Creation: 1805-1981 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Carr and Lukens families were prominent figures in Rock Island County in the 19th and 20th centuries, and they were among the first families to settle in the area.

William Carr was born in New Jersey in 1800 to John Carr (1773/4-1836) and Sarah Woolever Carr (circa 1775-1836). He had two older brothers named Elisha (1796-1837) and Peter (circa 1797-1875), three younger brothers named Benjamin (1806-1861), James (1808-1892), and David (1811-1888), and one younger sister named Jemima (circa 1804-1856). During his childhood, William's family moved west, settling at a farm in Chandlerville, Illinois. In 1825, William, Peter, and Benjamin traveled to Galena seeking work in lead mining. When they passed through what would become Rock Island County, William decided to return and build a home there. He built a cabin on the banks of the Rock River in 1828, near the bottom of what is now 38th Street in Rock Island.

William was a personal friend of John Deere, Colonel George Davenport, and Black Hawk, a leader among the Sauk Indians who visited the family home regularly. He married Eliza Tureman around 1831 and had three children with her: George (1832-1919), John (1837-1885), and Eliza Jane (1841-1930). Eliza died two weeks after Eliza Jane was born in 1841, and William later married Myra Lukens Mayhew. Myra was influential in the construction of a small stone house for the family's servants at the edge of the Carr family's property in 1844. This structure still stands on the present-day Saukie golf course.

Eliza Jane "Lida" Carr was William and Eliza's youngest child and only daughter. She attended school at Lombard College in Galesburg. While there, she and her classmate Mary Pike were given the opportunity to present a banner to Abraham Lincoln onstage before his fifth debate against Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. Eliza Jane married her step-mother's nephew, George McKinney Lukens (1837-1922), in 1864. After briefly moving to St. Louis, Missouri, the couple moved back to the family farm to raise their three children, Nell "Nellie" Slawson Lukens (1866-1938), William Carr Lukens (1868-1955), and Lura Lukens (1873-?).

George McKinney Lukens was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1837 and moved to Rock Island with his family the following year. George bought a share of the Union Printing Company in 1876 and was appointed the first superintendent of its job department before later serving as both secretary and treasurer of the company. George was well-respected in the Rock Island community. He was nominated for city sheriff in 1878 and named an honorary member of the Tri-City Typographical Union.

Lura Lukens was born in 1873 and was Eliza Jane and George Lukens' youngest child. Lura never married but lived with her mother until Eliza Jane's death in 1930, at which point Lura moved in with her brother William. Lura was a member of several local historical societies and was the primary preserver of her family's history. The obituary scrapbook in this collection was compiled by her.

Richard Allan "Bud" Welch (1909-1979) was the son of Nellie Lukens and Allan D. Welch (1863-1958). Bud renovated the family's farmhouse and was the last deedholder of the family's land before it was given to the city of Rock Island to expand the Saukie Golf Course.


1.7 Cubic Feet (/ 4 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Carr and Lukens families were prominent figures in Rock Island County in the 19th and 20th centuries, and they were among the first families to settle in the area. The Carr and Lukens family papers are arranged into seven series: Correspondence, 1837-1924 and undated; Writings and drawings, 1850-1918; Financial records, 1829-1946 (bulk 1837-1869); Genealogical data, 1905-1968 and undated; Printed material, 1805-1981; Photographs, circa 1860s-1970 and undated; and Realia.


Most materials arranged chronologically within folders.

Custodial History

Received from Betsey Brodahl on behalf of the Augustana Historical Society, December 1981. Materials had been donated to the Augustana Historical Society by Mrs. Richard Bud Welch in November 1981.

Existence and Location of Copies

Portions of this collection have been digitized and made accessible at

Related Materials

MSS 27 John Henry Hauberg papers, Series 6: Old Settlers Association of Rock Island interviews (box 47), Notebook A: items 3, 9, 70, and 75. Interviews with Eliza Jane Carr Lukens and George McKinney Lukens.

Processing Information

Processed by Samantha Crisp, April 2015.

Carr and Lukens family papers, 1805-1981 and undated.
Samantha Crisp
April 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States