First settled in 1871, the Lucas township underwent several name changes within its first year before receiving the name that it bears today. In July of 1873, the township was organized as Canton. This name was changed to Lisbon, and then again to Moe, and final to Lucas, a name borne by counties in Iowa and Ohio, a township in Wisconsin, and villages in these and several other states.

Lucas lies in the northeast corner of Lyon County. The town of Cottonwood, which was platted in 1888, is in this township. Cottonwood was named for the nearby lake that is surrounded by cottonwood trees. School Grove, Lady Slipper, and Lady Shoe lakes were all once within the township’s borders, but these lakes were drained, leaving only Cottonwood and Lone Tree lake.