Tucker, Philip Crosby, Jr. (1826–1894)

By: James D. Carter

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 1, 1995

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.
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

James D. Carter, “Tucker, Philip Crosby, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tucker-philip-crosby-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: