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STUCK, HUDSON

STUCK, HUDSON (1865–1920). Hudson Stuck, Episcopal clergyman and social reformer, son of James and Jane (Hudson) Stuck, was born in Paddington, London, England, on November 11, 1865. He attended Westbourne Park Public School and King's College. In 1885, eager for "wide-open spaces," he tossed a coin: heads for Australia, tails for Texas. It landed tails, and Stuck, in a phrase of the era, was G.T.T.-"gone to Texas." There he worked as a cowboy near Junction City and taught in one-room schools at Copperas Creek, San Angelo, and San Marcos before entering, in 1889, the theology department of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. He was ordained a priest in 1892 and served two years at Grace Church in Cuero, Texas, before moving to St. Matthew's Cathedral, Dallas, where he became dean in 1896. Casting himself as the social conscience of North Texas, Stuck preached and practiced a "muscular Christianity" that called all individuals to be their brothers' keepers. His sermons and newspaper articles raised every conceivable issue from lynching and what later came to be called gun control to the need for recreational areas. He had no use for men who had "little time for anything but making money"-and told them so. The dean's more tangible accomplishments included the founding of a night school for millworkers, a home for indigent women, and St. Matthew's Childrens' Home. Stuck pioneered and helped bring to fruition in 1903 the first state law to curb the "indefensible abuse" of child labor in Texas. "Comfortable and happy" in Dallas but admitting to a need to face new challenges and to "suffer hardship for the kingdom," he moved to Alaska in 1904. As the archdeacon of the Yukon and the Arctic he administered 250,000 square miles in the interior of Alaska. Traveling incessantly by dogsled in winter and boat in summer, Stuck ministered to miners and woodchoppers and championed the Indians and Eskimos, peoples whose contact with "low-down whites," he believed, doomed them to eventual extinction. In 1913 he gained international fame as the organizer and coleader of the first successful complete ascent of Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Stuck described this climb, his missionary activities, the great rivers, and the inhabitants of interior Alaska in numerous periodical articles and five books. The lifelong bachelor died of bronchial pneumonia at Fort Yukon, Alaska, on October 10, 1920.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

David Dean, Breaking Trail: Hudson Stuck of Texas and Alaska (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1988).

David M. Dean

Citation

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

David M. Dean, "STUCK, HUDSON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst86), accessed August 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.