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Luckett, Samuel Magoffin (ca. 1839–1905)

Claudia Hazlewood Biography

Samuel Magoffin Luckett, Presbyterian minister and college president, was born in Russellville, Kentucky, about 1839. After his graduation from Centre College at Danville in 1859, he trained for the Presbyterian ministry in Danville Theological Seminary. In 1866 he received his degree, was licensed to preach, and was ordained by the Muhlenburg presbytery. From 1866 to 1870 he served Kentucky churches. He moved to Texas in 1871 to become president of Austin College and served until 1878; in 1873 he made a horseback tour of 400 miles to secure funds for the college. When the school was moved from Huntsville to Sherman in 1876, Luckett, as ex-officio member of the board of trustees, selected the new site. He was pastor at Milford from 1878 to 1880 and at Palestine from 1886 to 1887, when he became president of the college for the second time; he held the post until 1897. Both of his administrations were marked by a determined effort to free the college of debt by a "pay as you go" economic policy, which succeeded during his second administration in clearing the indebtedness for the first time since 1854. From 1897 to 1902 Luckett was pastor of the Beeville church. He served also on the board of trustees of Texas Presbyterian College at Milford. In 1903–04 he was stated supply for Pine Street Church, San Antonio. He died in San Antonio on February 27, 1905. Luckett Hall at Austin College, erected in 1908, is named for him.

Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., 1942. William Stuart Red, A History of the Presbyterian Church in Texas (Austin: Steck, 1936).


  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators
  • Religion
  • Presbyterian

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

Claudia Hazlewood, “Luckett, Samuel Magoffin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.