lucenia_deereJohn Deere’s Second Wife
1809-1888

Lucenia Lamb, the younger sister of Demarius Lamb Deere, became John Deere’s second wife in 1867.

Several months after Demarius’ death in 1865, John traveled back to the Lamb family homestead in Vermont. Family legend has it that John was determined to remarry and his first choice for a bride was actually Melissa Lawrence, the daughter of Captain Benjamin Lawrence, the person under whom he apprenticed to learn his trade as a blacksmith. Upon arriving in Vermont, John discovered that while Melissa had been widowed earlier, she had already married for a second time.

No one knows how the events came together but John became reacquainted with Lucenia, who was 58, had never married. The two were wed in May 1867 in Granville, Vt., in the home of another of Demarius’ sisters, Mellona.

Lucenia and John came back to Moline where they enjoyed 20 years together before John’s death. Since John’s position with Deere & Company was largely ceremonial by this time, they had ample time and funds to indulge in a variety of activities, including farming and traveling back to Vermont for visits with old friends. Lucenia even became “the first lady of Moline” for a period of time, after John was elected mayor in 1873.

Lucenia allowed her husband to pursue his civic activities but preferred to stay out of the limelight herself, concentrating instead on being her husband’s companion during his later years. The two lived out their final years in their beautiful three-story home, Red Cliff. Lucenia died two years after her husband in 1888.

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