Ongoing research
First posted 11, April 2011 and updated 26, February 2014
New Facebook page at  

Lucy Page (Jane) Gaston
 Lucy Page Gaston circa 1903


The information listed below is a timeline from the evidence so far found in paperwork at the Marshall County Historical Society and Museum, Lacon Illinois.  Pictures of Lucy Page Gaston are from the internet.  So far nothing of her personal papers or pictures has surfaced here.  All information on her national campaign of Anti-Smoking was found in a few books which have dedicated a few passages to Lucy. These books are listed in the section labeled "sources".


My personal feelings are that she was well educated and would have been an interesting person to engage in conversation and a formidable debater. 

She was intelligent and by the facts from the area newspapers was teaching before she graduated from high school. There is nothing to indicate what Lucy’s major was in college but right after her graduation, she was writing for the W.C.T.U. gazette in an office located in LaSalle, Illinois.  It would appear she put her teaching career on hold for another worthy cause.  


What drove her to be a hard-minded individual?  I am amazed at her ability to sacrifice everything for the cause. It is written Lucy ate crackers and drank water to put all of her financial resources into the cause. In Lacon, Illinois the W.C.T.U. was very active and meetings were held twice or more times a week.  At this point, there is nothing found on that organization in the museum archives but it might surface someday. 


Her family was well-known in the area and her father, Alexander Hugh Gaston, is mentioned in the area newspapers for his community service and ideas to improve conditions within the Marshall County area.  He worked for the local orchard, Wiers, and was known as a self-taught botanist. Her mother, Henrietta Page Gaston reported to have been by her side through most of her endeavors of the anti-smoking crusade and out-lived her by a year.  Brother William stayed around Lacon area and is listed as a Doctor in the 1882 alumni association booklet, but is also listed as a laborer in the Federal Census of 1880.  Edward served in the Spanish American War. He worked for the U.S. Government as a diplomat and also was a certified Archeologist / Explorer. He campaigned in England and Germany for anti-smoking during the early 1900's.


I thank all the authors who wrote about Lucy Page Gaston and I hope Americans will re-discover that Lucy Page Gaston was right about smoking way back in 1880.


Lucy (Jane) Page Gaston’s life story has given me a goal. I want to inform the public that I think she is one of those persons who are labeled a shaper of her times. She and family are buried in a small cemetery within Lacon and over-looked by the community or maybe it is just forgotten that a national treasure is buried here. I want people to remember her and maybe award her the acknowledgement that she tried to save people lives.



There is no doubt in my mind, that she would not have liked me one bit.

Thank you,

dave dellinger

The Lucy Page Gaston Story
  Unknown                       Rathbun             Lucy Page Gaston
 Chicago Times
  • Alexander Hugh  Gaston - 1827 / 1908 (FATHER)
  • Henrietta (Page) Gaston - 1832 / 1925 (MOTHER)
  • William Clayton Gaston - 1858 / 1888 (BROTHER)
  • Lucy (Jane) Page Gaston - 1860 / 1924
  • Edward Page Gaston - 1868 / 1955 (BROTHER)



1860 - May 19th Lucy Jane Gaston is born in Kingston, Ohio

  •  The Federal Census indicate the Gaston family is living in Kingston,  Ohio


1870 - The Federal Census indicates the Gaston family moved to Illinois and are living in a small village along the Illinois River, Henry. 


 1873 - The Gaston family moves down the river some 8 miles to the village of Lacon.  

  • The Family requests permission from the Henry Presbyterian Church to move their membership to the Lacon First Presbyterian Church located on Broad Street & Fourth Street.
1876 - Lucy Gaston receives a certificate as school teacher from the County Superintendent Dr Edwards. 

1877 - Lucy Jane Gaston graduates from Lacon Union School as Valedictorian. She speaks on the topic "Sources of a Nation's Strength.

  • Lucy receives a certificate as school teacher from the County Superintendent Dr. Edwards.

1878 - Lucy Gaston is granted permission to teach in Marshall County, IL. She teaches at the Strawn School and two miles down the road (Wasburn Rd) the Monahan School. Both in Richland Township, Marshall County, IL.  These are small one room schoolhouse with approx 28 students each.


1879 - Lucy Gaston receives a certificate as school teacher from the County Superintendent Dr Edwards.


1880 - The Federal Census indicates she is living at home in Lacon, IL.


1882 - Lucy Page Gaston attends the Illinois State Normal School, Normal, IL now known as Illinois State University.

26, February 2014 Illinois State University (ISU) report forwarded today, and it is listed in the 1880-1889 ledger:

Name: Gaston, Lucy J. / Age: 21 and 11 months / County: Marshall / Town: Lacon / Nationality: Ohio / Entered: 1882 on March 7th

Appointment: President / Character: James Hoyt / Parents/Guardian: A.H. Gaston-Nuseryman

  • It is here that a report written in the Bloomington, IL newspaper "The Pantagraph" of Lucy Gaston, while leading other students entered local saloons, smashing furniture with clubs and axe's. (10 years before Carry Nation)

1882 - Lacon Union School First Re-Union Alumni Association - Lucy Gaston, '77' is listed as Recording Secretary June 8, 1882.


1886 - Lacon Union School Third Reunion Alumni Association - Lucy Gaston "77" is listed giving the Memorial speech.


1887 - Lucy speaks at the W.C.T.U. (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) in Lacon, IL the subject is on “How the Bible should be studied."


1888 - Lacon Union School Sixth Re-Union Alumni Association - Lucy J. Gaston '77' is listed as ' President July 26, 1888.


1890 - During this time period, Lucy Gaston officially changes her middle name from Jane to Page which is her mother's maiden name.
  •  Lucy Page Gaston is living in LaSalle, Illinois and working for the W.C.T.U. (Women's Christian Temperance Union).
1892 - Member of the Lacon, lL Woman's Literary Club which in 1894 became the Illinois Federation of Woman's Club, Lacon Chapter
  • Listed in WLC booklet for January prohram Recit ...Uncrowned Queens / Membership list #19


1899 - Lucy Page Gaston creates the Anti-Smoking League.

(Between 1900 and 1924, Lucy Gaston is involved in 600 different court cases and speaks at countless organization meetings. Lucy Gaston was also involved in numerous anti-smoking legislations which were introduced in states like Illinois, Kansas, California and New York.)


1900 -  The Federal Census indicates Lucy Page Gaston is living Thomton, Cook County, Illinois.
(Living with her mother Henrietta Gaston)
1901 - Many write that the term "Coffin Nail",i.e. cigarette, was used by Lucy Page Gaston.
  • The magazine " THE BOY" shows Lucy Page Gaston as the General Superintendent on the Officer's of the Board list for the Anti-Smoking League. Located at 1102 The Temple, 184 La Salle Street, Chicago, IL
1904- Lucy Gaston is National President of the Anti-Cigarette League with an office in Chicago, Illinois.

Advertisement placed in the THE ADVANCE a Chicago, IL weekly gazette.

July 7, 1904, Volume xiviii, Number 2017

“The near approach of World's Temperance Sunday, Nov. 27, 1904 naturally makes this a most appropriate time to consider special plans on this most important subject. A leaflet setting forth the "Cuyler Plan" and also "information concerning the anti-cigarette movement will be sent on receipt of stamp by Miss Lucy Page Gaston, 1119 Woman's Temple, Chicago."

Coin - Janet Giugler collection
This is the  Women's Temple, which was commissioned by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and Matilda B. Carse. 
 Women's Temple 

W. Monroe Street & S. LaSalle Street

 Chicago, IL 

Architect:   Burnham and Root, 1891-92, 

Southwest corner of LaSalle and Monroe Streets, 

demolished in 1926.

 Postcard -Janet Giugler collection

1907 - Lucy Page Gaston writes for periodicals and gives speeches at churches and civic organizations. One called the "Perils of Cigarettes".
1910 - The Federal Census indicates Lucy Page Gaston is living in Harvey, Cook County, Illinois. (Living with her mother Henrietta Gaston)
  • Lucy Page Gaston is trying to organize a Anti-Somking Legue of America and urging a crusade against dealers who sell cigaretts to childern.
 1911 - Lucy Page Gaston makes a deal with Chicago police department that she has authority to arrest and child caught smoking in publlic. "Any boy who smokes in Chicago today will be arrested"...

1919 - Lucy Page Gaston resigns from the superintendent of the International Anti-Cigarette League.


1920 - Lucy Page Gaston announced her candidacy for President of the United States on the “clean morals, clean food and fearless law enforcement” platform. She withdraws 6 months later.

  • The Federal Census does not show Lucy Page Gaston.
  • Lucy Page Gaston resides in Kansas and embarrasses the Kansas Anti-Cigarette League.(She is fired from the organization)
  • Lucy Page Gaston revives the National Anti-Cigarette League.

1922 - Lucy Page Gaston creates the Clean Life Movement.

    Coin given to those that were willing to pledge to NOT SMOKE
    Coin - Janet Giugler collection
     1923 - Lucy page Gaston attempts to get legislation passed to stop smoking on public transportation "Trolley Cars" or within public areas within the city of Chicago. The bill is rejected by a narrow margin.
    1924 - 24, January -  Lucy Page Gaston is hit by a trolley in Chicago, Illinois. The doctors see a problem in her throat, which turns out to be throat cancer.
    • 20, August - Lucy Page Gaston dies at Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois of throat cancer. Few attend her funeral services and it was noted that four children stood by her coffin and recited the pledge to not smoke. (The body is cremated)


     1925 - Lucy Page Gaston mother, Henrietta Page Gaston, dies. Her remains are also cremated and both set of ashes are transported to the family gravesite in Lacon, Illinois.

     Gaston family plot at the Lacon, IL Cemetery, early 2010

     Stone was reset in September 2010
    photos by Janet Giugler
    This website is prepared by
    david dellinger

     <script type="text/javascript">
      var _gaq = _gaq || [];
      _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-19130056-1']);
      (function() {
        var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
        ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
        var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
     <iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/likebox.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fplatform&amp;width=292&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;show_faces=true&amp;stream=true&amp;header=true&amp;height=427" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:292px; height:427px;" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>
    <script type="text/javascript"> 
    var _gaq = _gaq || []; 
    .push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']); 
    (function() { 
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; 
    .src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; 
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);