The Village of Luckey, Ohio is located in Wood County and is the only incorporated village in Troy Township. Luckey was surveyed in 1820 by Charles Roberts, according to an account in “Centennial Year In Luckey, Ohio,” a 116 page book published in 1981 for Luckey’s centennial observance, and “settlement is said to have begun in 1833.” The settlers were not identified.
In May, 1835, “the United States of America deeded 240 acres of land to Christopher Bair. That land included the present site of Luckey.”
Apparently almost nothing worth noting took place between 1835, when Bair received his deed and 1880 when Isaac Krotzer came along (from where is not known, either) and bought 80 acres for $2,800.00.
In any case, Krotzer’s 80 acres are in Section 28 of Troy Township, exactly where Luckey is today, although the town has expanded considerably since 1880. It now occupies about one square mile.
According to Centennial Year, “it was Captain James B. Luckey who lent his name to the Village of Luckey. Some say that the village was first known as Luckeyville and later shortened to Luckey.”
Captain Luckey (former Civil War Officer?) is said to have come in 1879 to where Luckey would be, bought 180 acres of forest land and built a sawmill, including a factory for the manufacture of barrel staves. He was a member of a firm called Luckey, Reed and Ames, and the trio came from Elmore.
There is no date on record as to when naming took place; it was probably at the time Krotzer surveyed the future town in 1881. There is no other reference to James B. Luckey.
The Historical Record of Wood County, Ohio, published in 1896, makes no mention of Captain Luckey. Instead, there is a reference to a George Luckey who was appointed postmaster when the post office was established in 1881.
According to Centennial Year, in January, 1881, “it was necessary (for Krotzer) to convince potential investors that his vision (for Luckey) was practical and profitable.” By the end of January he had commitments from three investors to locate in Luckey. By March, according to a story in the Wood County Sentinel Krotzer “had already sold the majority of lots to actual settlers.”
Luckey took shape rapidly, according to the Centennial Year story. “Buildings nearly completed in 1881 included a hotel, a stave factory, sawmill and factory, post office (promises of) two saloons, seven houses and a lime kiln and limestone quarry.”
On July 12, 1893, it is reported in Centennial Year, “fire broke out in a room over the Myers Brothers Store. The flames quickly spread to the neighboring buildings. The Toledo Fire Department was telegraphed. An engine and hose cart were promptly dispatched via the Toledo and Central Railroad which arrived 14 minutes after the order was given to go.”
“The Meyers Brothers Hardware Store, Dr. Peabody’s Pharmacy, Tony Kroetz’ saloon, Samuel Hathaway’s grocery store, Mrs. Wagner’s Millinery Shop, two houses and three ice houses were destroyed.”
All of the buildings lost in the fire were on the north side of Main Street; the few structures on the south side were untouched by the fire, the report said.
Also as in other nineteenth-century Wood County villages, reconstruction in Luckey began almost immediately, and, according to the Centennial Year, “they quickly set about the rebuilding. Work progressed rapidly, and the new stores were completed in 1894.”
So began an era of nearly 60 years when Luckey grew and prospered. It sent its sons and daughters to two world wars, and it survived, although sometimes not easily, an unprecedented depression which ended only with the first shots of World War II.