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TUCKER, TX

TUCKER, TEXAS. Tucker is a rural community in southwestern Anderson County eight miles southwest of Palestine on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the combined U.S. highways 84 and 79, two miles from the Trinity River. In 1866 African Americans who worked on the Long Lake cotton plantation organized the Green Bay African Methodist Episcopal Church in the area. The name Green Bay was later applied to a small school for black children and eventually to a black high school. As the white community known as Prairie Point developed, the black portion of the community was often still referred to as Green Bay. What was then the International and Great Northern railroad was built through the area in 1872, and a post office called Prairie Point opened at the site in 1873. In 1882 the name of the post office and the town was changed to Tucker, after W. H. Tucker and the Tucker family, who owned land and operated a general store in the area. By 1884 Tucker had an estimated forty inhabitants, a steam gristmill and cotton gin, a church, and a district school. The town shipped cotton, cottonseed, and fish. In 1896 the population was estimated at 150 inhabitants. The post office closed in 1905. In 1913 A. L. Bowers drilled several unsuccessful wells in the area, and in 1932–33 several profitable oil and gas wells were developed in Tucker and nearby Long Lake oilfield by the Tidewater and Texas Seaboard Oil Company. A small refinery was built adjacent to the railroad in Tucker. In the 1930s the community had an estimated sixty inhabitants. The two Tucker schools served some forty-two white pupils and eighty-six black pupils in 1932; the schools later became part of the Westwood Independent School District. In the late 1930s Tucker had two churches, three businesses, a factory, and numerous oil storage tanks. Tucker's population fell to forty in 1964 and fluctuated between sixty-five and eighty-five in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The population was consistently estimated at 304 inhabitants from 1978 through 2000. In 1982 the town had three churches, numerous scattered dwellings and oil tanks, and an oil refinery a short distance to the north. In 1984 the nearby oilfield was still in production, but by 1992 the oil refinery had closed down.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Pauline Buck Hohes, A Centennial History of Anderson County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936). Thomas Paul Jones, The Reorganization of the Public Schools of Anderson County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1934). Palestine Daily Herald, February 12, 1935.

Mark Odintz

Citation

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

Mark Odintz, "TUCKER, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlt34), accessed July 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.