LUCAS, SILCOCK AND BRIMLEY FAMILIES
These families who came to America around 1906 from Lancashire, England on the
Cunard Line Ship Lucania, immigrated to the West Terre Haute area to work in the coal
John Lucas was the eldest son, born in 1869 in Chorley to James and Martha Thompson
Lucas. Other children born to this union were: Polly (Hem, Silcock, O'Malley), James,
Fred, Joe, Harriet (Jackson), who lived in Wyoming, Annie (Meekin), Edith (married
James Brimley), we called them Aunt Edie and Uncle Brimley, Esther (married Thomas
Silcock), but we called her Aunt Sissy and Cecilia who was a Catholic Nun.
The family were raised in the Catholic Church and some did attend a Catholic Church
in the area. They then started attending St. Stephens Episcopal in Terre Haute. The
sewing circle attracted the English ladies and it was decided to establish a Mission
Church on Ferguson Hill.
By 1923 St. George's Episcopal Church was established with a Church building being
built by the members.
John Lucas was baptized and confirmed into St. Stephen's Church in April of 1928.
Florence Lucas Vermillion was confirmed in 1932 by Rev. William Capor Jr. Alvin and
Florence Lucas Vermillion were married by Rev. John Sulger on March 27,1926.
After the 1935 fire that destroyed the Church, John Lucas gave the Church an old pump
organ and stool that came from England. (I have the glass footed stool) I always
remember Waneta Brimley playing the organ after it had been fitted with a motor from a
sweeper. As youngsters there was a group of us that sang in the Choir directed by
Waneta. She made us white robes to wear and black beanies for the girls heads as we
could not attend a service unless our heads were covered. Bearle Mills taught us in
We used to ride to the Church in the 1940's for an evening service with Joe and Betsy
Cubby as he did the service as a lay-reader.
Ladies Auxiliary was an active group and Florence Vermillion served as Treasurer for
25 years and always enjoyed attending the Episcopal conventions in Indianapolis. Once a
month Wednesday evenings were Bingo night at St. George's with hostesses furnishing
prizes and refreshments for a fee which was turned over to the Church. This was held in
Plays and shows were held in the basement by the teens and younger ones. St. George
Church seemed to be the place for the teens to hang out in the late 1940's. The summer
picnics to Shakamk when we hired a bus to make the trip were fun times most of us will
never forget. Also there were Halloween parties for children and adults.
I especially remember the Harvest Festival when families would each take a window
and decorate it with fall fruits and vegetables and the Sunday service would be great and
the songs we would sing made us think of gathering in food for the winter.
My Grandmother, Mary Ann (Polly) Lucas used to clean the Church and Mother and I
would help her. There was a fee that she was paid for doing the cleaning and she always
gave it back to the Church.
Another fun trip I remember was when Mr. and Mrs. Petty, Sue Flinn's parents took
several of us to a youth seminar at the Episcopal Church on the Circle in Indianapolis.
We went by bus and had a great time.
Rev. Durr I do remember, but not well. Rev. Mabley was wonderful and both of my
brothers had served on the Altar for him, Bob and Dick Vermillion. He also married Fred
and I at St. Stephens as our little Church just could not hold enough people. Gail Howlett
came before he was ordained and did a lot with the youth. Everyone just loved him. Ken
Taylor came as a lay-reader and he was just wonderful and later was ordained. Do
remember Rev. Harlan and enjoyed him also. Rev. Gregg did the service for my brother
St. George Church will always remain close to my heart and in my special memories
as the Church was such a part of our lives as we were growing up. We walked nearly a
mile to the services on Sundays and other activities when we did not have anyone to take
us, as we lived on the bottom road and the Church was on the hill. Yes, this was where
we received our Christian Education and started our walk with God as our ancestors did
when they arrived from England.