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 Lucy Deere Herr  (1865 - 1946)

About: Lucy Deere Herr


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Lived/Active: Oregon/California      Known for: painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from Judy Deere Neel, who wrote: 

"Lucy Deere Herr was my grandmother’s aunt.  Lucy’s sister, Mary Ella (or Ellen) was my great- grandmother. Their father was William Deere, brother to the famous John Deere.   I have bits and pieces of info (copies of newspaper interviews, etc.) about Lucy.  Our family had always understood that Lucy was romantically involved with the artist John Mulvaney and she mentions this in one of the newspaper articles.   We (my mother and family) have many of her paintings—as a graduation present my mother (now 90) and her sister (deceased) were given the gift of spending some time with their Aunt Lucy in Sacramento. They remember her playing the guitar and painting.    

My grandmother had eight siblings—one was a sister named Eva.  Lucy shared a home with her in Sacramento and my grandmother use to tell us that Eva was an alcoholic and would trade a Lucy painting for a bottle—we feel her paintings are scattered in homes around California and had heard that many were in Portland, OR.  She lived there for a time and also lived In Colorado where she taught painting."


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following comments were posted online:

From what I have been able to gather to date from censuses and her obituary, Lucy Deere was born in 1865 in Oregon to Mary and William Yates Deere. Her parents died when she was a child. She was a great-niece of John Deere of farm equipment fame. She was an artist, but also worked as a servant and a courthouse records researcher.

She first married Don Alexander in Oregon and, after his death, Benjamin Herr in Oklahoma City. According to her obituary, "Sixty years ago she was in the headlines when John Mulvaney (sic), painter of Custer's Last Rally, committed suicide in New York, purportedly over his failure to win her love."

David and Mary Donaldson were again living together at the time of the 1930 census and Lucy Herr was back in Oregon. She later moved to Sacramento, where she died in 1946.


Yavapai County archives record that Lucy Deere and Benjamin Herr were married in  Kingman, Arizona in November 1901.


These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Oregon on Dec. 27, 1865.  Mrs. Herr moved to California in 1911.  After six years in San Diego, she settled in Sacramento where she remained until her demise on April 8, 1946.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; Death Record; Sacramento Bee, 4-11-1946 (obit).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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