While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


James D. Carter

TUCKER, PHILIP CROSBY, JR. (1826–1894). Philip Crosby Tucker, Jr., pioneer Mason, son of Philip Crosby and Mary C. M. (McCloskey) Tucker, was born at Vergennes, Addison County, Vermont, on February 14, 1826. He completed the course of study offered in the public schools in Vergennes, began to read law in his father's office, and started his Vermont law practice under the guidance of his father. This arrangement continued without great financial success, but it did provide him with training and experience for his later professional life in Texas. Tucker left Vermont on October 31, 1852, for Texas, arrived at Galveston the following November, and opened his Texas law practice. In 1858 he purchased the home of Samuel May Williams, which he occupied for the remainder of his life. In his will Tucker provided that Tucker Masonic Lodge No. 297 should inherit the property after a life tenancy for his family. The lodge sold the property, and later it was converted into a museum by the Galveston Historical Society. Tucker had served as president of that society from 1885 to 1894. During the Civil War Tucker joined the Confederate Army in the defense of Galveston; he was a major assigned to the staff of Gen. John Bankhead Magruder. On February 8, 1867, he introduced the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry into Texas by beginning the communication of the degrees of that rite to a class of eight Galveston Masons. By 1966 the rite had grown to 61,750 members. Tucker was a prominent member of the Galveston Horticulture Society and experimented on the ten acres around his home. He introduced the magnolia fig to Texas. His first wife, a widow by the name of Harrison, died shortly after the marriage. Tucker then married Maria L. Bryan on June 23, 1859. They had five children. After her death Tucker married Isabella T. Baldwin on March 13, 1881; they had one son. Tucker died in the House of the Temple at Washington, D.C., on July 9, 1894. His body was returned to Galveston and interred in the Episcopal Cemetery.

James David Carter, The First Century of Scottish Rite Masonry in Texas, 1867–1967 (Waco: Scottish Rite Bodies, 1967). S. W. Geiser, Horticulture and Horticulturists in Early Texas (Dallas: University Press, 1945). C. A. Hotchkiss, History of Scottish Rite Masonry in Texas (1916). Proceedings of the Texas Bar Association, 1894–95. Philip Crosby Tucker, Jr., Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, James D. Carter, "TUCKER, PHILIP CROSBY, JR.," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ftu02.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...