Lacy, Arthur J. (Arthur Jay), 1876-1975Alternative names
Detroit, Michigan, attorney and judge, Democratic candidate for governor in 1934.
From the description of Arthur J. Lacy papers, 1891-1975. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34419437
Arthur J. Lacy was born September 30,1876 in Nirvana, a lumbering town in Lake County, Michigan. His family was large and exceptionally close and from an early age, as the oldest living child, he participated in the family businesses. He attended school until he was twelve, but received most of his literary education at home. As a teenager he passed Michigan's school teachers' examination and taught in a one room school for a year. In 1894, he went to seek a law degree at Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana (now Valparaiso University), and in two years was admitted to the Indiana bar although he was underage. In 1896, he began the study of law at the University of Michigan which he completed in 1898. In 1899, he and his wife Beth Garwick Lacy settled in Clare, Michigan, where he set up his law practice.
In 1902, he was elected to his first of four terms as mayor. Retiring from that office in 1906, he later sought the office of prosecuting attorney, for which he was defeated. In 1909, he accepted an invitation from Alfred Lucking, Henry Ford's lawyer, to practice law in Detroit. Governor Woodbridge Ferris, with whom he had corresponded since childhood, appointed Lacy judge of the new Detroit Domestic Relations Court in 1913. Lacy under-took initial organization of the court, which had jurisdiction over divorce and family cases. The court was dissolved eight months later in 1914, by the Michigan Supreme Court and Lacy again entered private practice in the law firm of Anderson, Rackham, and Wilcox, replacing the retiring Horace Rackham.
In 1920, he was appointed head of the Detroit Civil Service Commission by Mayor James Couzens, whose private attorney he was until Couzen's death. In 1923-1928, he represented Couzens in the Ford Stock Tax Case, and was instrumental in the settlement of the case in favor of the stockholders. Lacy also wrote for Couzens the instrument of Trust setting up the Children's Fund of Michigan. In 1930, Lacy began a personal campaign to reduce heavy taxes during the depression, which he thought could be done by decreasing the cost of government. In 1932 and 1933, he assisted thirty small Michigan banks in avoiding panic and remaining solvent. He was also deeply involved in the Detroit bank crisis of 1933 and co-author of the Michigan Emergency Banking Act. These public involvements catapulted him into prominence in the Democratic party.
In 1934, Lacy was mentioned as a candidate for U.S. Senator. But only after great persuasion did he enter the Democratic gubernatorial primary to challenge successfully the current governor William A. Comstock. In the November election, he ran against Republican Frank Fitzgerald, but was defeated. Lacy's political decline was apparently rapid. He devoted his time to his legal practice and philanthropic activities that included the Salvation Army, the Boys' Club of Detroit, and the Youth Services of the Knights Templar, Grand Commandery of Detroit. He also began to diverge politically from Franklin D. Roosevelt, recoiling from deficit spending, the welfare state, attempted court packing, and Roosevelt's intention to run for a third term. Lacy, however, was never welcomed as a statesman in the Republican party.
In 1947, Lacy retired from active participation in his law firm and cut back his legal work. He remained involved in income tax cases, a field in which he was considered an expert. Most of his public activities were connected with philanthropy, although he served on the National Sanitation Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the Parker Rust Proof Company. He died in 1975.
From the guide to the Arthur J. Lacy Papers, 1891-1975, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)
|creatorOf||Weideman, Carl May, 1898-1972. Carl May Weideman papers, 1921-1972.||University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library|
|referencedIn||Frank Dwight Fitzgerald papers, 1928-1944, 1930-1939||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|creatorOf||Arthur J. Lacy Papers, 1891-1975||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|creatorOf||Kimmerle, Charles H., 1860-. Charles H. Kimmerle papers, 1895-1906.||University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library|
|referencedIn||Alumni Association (University of Michigan), Individual Photographs, ca. 1880-ca. 1960s||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|creatorOf||Lacy, Arthur J. (Arthur Jay), 1876-1975. Arthur J. Lacy papers, 1891-1975.||University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library|
|referencedIn||Carl M. Weideman Papers, 1921-1972, 1932-1934||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|creatorOf||Fitzgerald, Frank D. (Frank Dwight), 1885-1939. Frank Dwight Fitzgerald papers, 1928-1944.||University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Wayne County (Mich.)|
|Wayne County (Mich.)|
|Arbitration (International law)|
|World War, 1914-1918--Finance--United States|
|Banks and banking|
|World War, 1939-1945|
|Strikes and lockouts|
|World War, 1914-1918|
|Emigration and immigration|
|Constitutional law--United States|
|Banks and banking--Michigan|
|Labor and laboring classes|
|Women's rights--United States|
|Debts, Public--United States|