A favorite ancestor – Truman Isaac Lacey

I know it’s wrong to play favorites with family members, which makes me feel like it’s wrong to play favorites with ancestors.  There are a few, however, that stand out to me for whatever reason.  Some of them may have great stories that I have been able to find.  Some of them may have left something great behind.  I have decided to start covering some of these favorites.   The unfortunate truth is that SO many of my ancestors probably had amazing lives and did amazing things, but there is absolutely no information about them out in the world anymore.  Or…at least I haven’t found it yet.  I will certainly keep looking.

Today’s family fave: Truman Isaac Lacey

An absolutely creepy picture of Truman Isaac Lacey from 1890. This is why you're not supposed to blink, Truman!

The reason that I know anything about this guy is not because he left our family all of his personal journals (he didn’t).  He did, however, leave behind some amazing work.  He left behind some amazing buildings.  Good old T.I. was an architect and started a firm that employed much of the Lacey family.  Many of his buildings, and those of his firm in general, are still standing today which is amazing!

He lived in the Binghamton, New York area for years, which is where the firm was located, so many of his buildings were located in or around the city.  Some of his biggest jobs include the following:

The Security Mutual Building in downtown Binghamton.

The Press Building in downtown Binghamton, New York.

The Kilmer Building in Binghamton, New York

This all makes me feel like I’m going to have to create something very concrete (and awesome) to leave for future generations.  Thanks for setting the bar high, Truman.

Other facts about Truman:

  • He has a great name.  Truman Isaac Lacey.  So solid.  He sounds very stuffy.  I’m sure he was.  He also gave one of his sons an amazing name: Bascom Taylor Lacey.  Amazing.
  • He was in the Civil War.  He was enlisted in Company G, Pennsylvania 13th Infantry Regiment on 12 September 1862.
  • He is my ggg grandfather by this route:  Me > Linda Kinsley (my mom) > Charles Kinsley (her dad) > Marion Lacey (his mom) > Bascom Lacey (her dad) > TRUMAN! (his dad)
  • Other buildings he designed: Sayre Theatre (Sayre, PA), VanDerLyn Mansion (Oxford, NY), Monroe County Courthouse (Stroudsburg, PA).

So this is just one of many of my favorite ancestors.  Look out for another installment of “A Favorite Ancestor” sometime next month.  If you have one of your own, leave me a comment about them.

15 thoughts on “A favorite ancestor – Truman Isaac Lacey

  1. Do you know anything else about Bascomb Taylor Lacey? What was his wife’s name, and did he live in East Stroudsburg, PA? I thought it was he who had designed the Monroe County Courthouse and some other fine homes in the area. I believe he is my great uncle, on my father’s side.

  2. My father was Howard Taylor Lacey, lived in Bing. All his life. Believe his father was Foster T. Lacey. Married Rita Luce.

    • My name is Brian Taylor Lacey and my father was Foster Truman Lacey and I lived in Binghamton all my life…not sure of my ancestry

      • Truman Isaac Lacey had a son Bascom Taylor Lacey who then had a son Foster T Lacey senior who had a son foster T Lacey Jr who then had a son Brian Taylor Lacey that is me who I had a son Zachary Taylor Lacey

      • Love this! Hello cousins! Brian, let me know if I can help you with any people farther back than Truman Isaac. My Great Uncle gave me a wealth of information on the Laceys from WAY back. I’m not sure how much of it is accurate but he worked on this stuff a LOT. I am trying to find my own historical proof so haven’t included a lot of it in my tree. If you are on ancestry and want to link up, let me know!

  3. Our house is located in Binghamton on Crocker Hill. The original iron cut out from a screen door perhaps is handing in the house. The house was named the Crow’s Nest and the name on the door is Truman A. Lacy. He may have designed our house and the house across the road. Any ideas? Thanks!

      • One thing I have found with the Lacey/Lacy fam is that they do change the spelling sometimes. I kind of wonder if this is done on purpose to separate themselves from parents when creating their own career? I have no idea really but it definitely switched up between the two spellings a lot in that family.

    • I have a Truman A. Lacy in my tree. Son of Arthur Truman Lacey who was the son of dear Truman Isaac Lacey. He was born in Binghamton or Fenton until 1957 until 1957. He died in Sun City Arizona in 1964. He was indeed an architect with his own firm. In 1930 he lived at 52 Exchange Street. In 1940 he lived at 1314 Chenango Street with wife Grace and daughter Virginia. In 1957-1960 it says his Home is RD 3, Crocker Hill Rd. which sounds like that area you live. He lived there with his second wife Daisy. I can’t find directories past 1960. Anyway, Yeah! Truman A. Lacey is my 1st cousin 3x removed. There is definitely a proud tradition of architects in that family. It’s pretty cool to have buildings still standing that you can trace to a family member. I love it. Do you know what it would mean to have the address be RD 3?

  4. Absolutely !…apparently I’m a direct descendant of Truman Isaac Lacey and that is as far back as I have found out so far

  5. I am the current historian for St. Mary’s Assumption Church located in Binghamton, NY. Sanford Lacey who was I believe a nephew of Truman Lacey was the architect for the church. It is my understanding that Sanford apprenticed under Isaac Perry. One of Isaac Perry’s signatures was to incorporate faces of people into his buildings. On the front of the church is a likeness of James Sullivan, who was one of the builders. I am trying to find out more about Sanford Lacey. Would you have any information that you can share.

    • If Sanford Lacey was S. O. Lacey – then he and H. A. Lacey were the architects of South Presbyterian Church in Syracuse, NY built 1905-1906. I’m presently writing a National Register nomination for the former church and an looking for any information the Lacey I can get. Any help you can give – that would be great. Am happy to share.

    • Here is what I was able to quickly piece together … it can get corrected and expanded over the next month:
      South Presbyterian Church: The Architects

      S.O. & H.A. Lacey of Binghamton, were engaged as architects for the new church. The Laceys, father and son Sanford O.(1856-1927) and Halbert Alonzo (1879-1909) had just completed the design and construction of the Carnegie Public Library in Binghamton (with Isaac G. Perry as the consulting architect), begun in 1903.[1]

      S.O. Lacey had apprenticed with the prominent architect Perry when the latter was completing the State Capital Building in Albany in 1883. In 1892 Lacey formed a partnership (until 1896) with E. H. Bartoo[2], who had been a fellow draftsman for Perry in Albany, and the new firm, under Perry’s supervision, designed Binghamton’s Columbia Theatre (1892).[3] Other buildings in Binghamton by S. O. Lacey include the Bijou Theater (1893, demolished 1950)[4], Harding House on Grand Boulevard (1897-98), and with Halbert Alonzo, and The Boston Store (1899).[5] After Halbert A. Lacey’s early death, his father continued to work. He designed[6] the Star Theater (1913, demolished 1951) and the Goodwill Theater in Johnson City (1920)[7]; and the 4th and 5th Ward School Buildings in Binghamton (1915).[8] Sanford O. Lacey later formed a partnership with Gerald G. Schenck (Lacey and Schenck), and then in 1920 the firm expanded to Lacey, Schenck and Cummings.[9]

      The Laceys were Binghamton’s first family of architecture. Sanford O. Lacey was the nephew of leading Binghamton architect Truman I. Lacey (1833-1914). Truman Lacey was head of the firm T.I. Lacey and Son, and was architect of the Security Mutual Building (1904), The Press Building (1903), The Kilmer Building (date?), the Davidge-Pratt House at 10 Riverside Dr. (1905), the current Lost Dog cafe building (originally a cigar factory, Binghamton’s major export at the time) and numerous other buildings including Sayre Theatre (Sayre, PA), VanDerLyn Mansion (Oxford, NY), and the Monroe County Courthouse (Stroudsburg, PA). Two of his sons were architects. His youngest son, Arthur T. Lacey, designed Binghamton’s Kalurah Temple Mosque (1917-18).[10]

      [1] “Binghamton’s Landmark library,” on Treasures of the Tier, website at: http://nyslandmarks.com/treasures/09apr.htm.

      [2] http://bundymuseum.org/site3/about/the-history/elfred-bartoo-bio/

      [3] Soon renamed Stone Opera House, and later the Riviera. See http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11547/photos/45283

      [4][4] http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/42944

      [5]“ Lacey Architecture: A Family Legacy,” brochure fomr 2003 exhibition at Binghamton Visitor Center (2003). Pdf online at: http://www.pastny.org/landmarks/support/architects/TrumanILacey.pdf

      [6] http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/14713

      [7] http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/18727

      [8] The American Contractor, Vol 36 (F. W. Dodge Corporation, 1915), p . 48

      [9] Architecture (1920), p 192. The firm dissolved within a year, however, for unspecified reasons.

      [10] William D. Moore, Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes (Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2006)

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