Thomas F. Tucker, soldier, son of William H. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Tucker, was born in Barnwell District, South Carolina, on February 22, 1818. After his parents died he traveled with his four younger brothers from Mississippi to Shelby County, Texas, in 1841. There he married Frances Adeline Duncan in May 1845; they had sixteen children. Tucker enlisted in the Mexican War in May 1847 and served in a company commanded by John Coffee (Jack) Hays. He was mustered out at Veracruz in May 1848 and soon moved his family to Harrison County. At the beginning of the Civil War Tucker enlisted at Elysian Fields in Capt. Sterling Brown Hendrick's company. He was subsequently promoted through all the grades to that of colonel in 1864. He was in charge of Camp Ford, northeast of Tyler, in early November 1863, when the first large group of Northern prisoners (those captured in Louisiana) were brought there. He was in the Seventeenth Consolidated Regiment, Texas Dismounted Cavalry, which saw combat service in Louisiana in 1864. In 1869 the Tuckers moved to southeast San Augustine County. In 1879 Tucker established a ranch above MacKenzie Crossing on California Creek in what is now Haskell County. In the spring of 1880 the family moved into the rock house that John Alexander and Sallie Ann (Reynolds) Matthews had built in 1877. When Haskell County was organized in 1885, Tucker was elected the first county judge; his son, Alex D. Tucker, was the first sheriff and tax collector. Thomas F. Tucker died in Haskell on May 21, 1886, and was buried in the Haskell Cemetery. See also HASKELL COUNTY, and HASKELL, TX.
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Rex A. Felker, Haskell: Haskell County and Its Pioneers (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975). F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.: The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas (Austin: Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964). Robert E. Sherrill, Haskell County History (Haskell, Texas: Haskell Free Press, 1965). James Tucker Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: GPO, 1880–1901).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Cooper K. Ragan,
“Tucker, Thomas F.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 12, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: