Descendants of the Fearless Fifty-Nine, William Demetrius Lacy
WILLIAM DEMETRIUS LACY by Kenneth R. Pybus, 3x great grandson
William Demetrius Lacy spent most of his childhood at the South Union Shaker Village near Bowling Green, Kentucky, but he decided to depart the commune at the age of 20. Lacy eventually found his way to Texas, but not before returning to South Union to make amends with one Shaker friend. It’s unknown why Lacy chose to leave the Shakers – either because of disenchantment with Shaker celibate theology or practice or simply a general unsatisfied wanderlust. But sometime in 1829, he notified the commune elders that he would not stay. In an entry in the South Union Shaker Society journal on May 17 of that year, Shaker scribe M.H. Robinson wrote, “Forsaking the Way. – Demetrius Lacy peaceably left the society – regretted – Who next?” It’s also unclear where he went during the next year. One biographer describes Lacy’s participation in a military expedition organized to quell Indian disturbances. It may also be that he simply went to stay in Paducah with his brother, who had abandoned the Shaker life four years earlier. But Lacy apparently returned to the Shaker community a year after leaving. According to an entry in society journal, Lacy visited in May of 1830, sought out Shaker resident Harvey Eades and “asked pardon for an offense he gave before he left,” the Shaker scribe wrote. “Seemed very manly about it.” Eades was about Lacy’s age, and the two had grown up together at South Union. Eades went on to serve as an elder at the commune until his death in 1892. But Lacy didn’t stay long. Four days after arriving, and one year to the date after first “forsaking the Shaker way,” Lacy left again – presumably on his way to Texas. The Shaker journal entry reads, “Deport**Demetrius Lacy starts south again.” Two months later, Lacy was working a saddle shop in Columbus, Texas, just a few years away from making Texas history.