Elijah J. Tucker biography

ELIJAH J. TUCKER, a prominent and highly respected farmer, of the Red River Valley, Texas, dates his birth in Madison county, Arkansas, May 8, 1857, and is a son of William H. and Amanda (Bohannan) Tucker, both natives of Tennessee.

Mr. Tucker’s maternal grandfather, Elijah Bohannan, was a Tennessee farmer and afterward a pioneer of Arkansas, where he carried on agricultural pursuits the rest of his life. In his family were eight children, namely: William, Mary, Elizabeth, Leafy, Winnie, James, John and Amanda.

Mr. Tucker’s paternal grandfather also was named Elijah, and he, too, was a prominent Tennessee farmer who went from that state to Arkansas and continued his farming operations successfully in the latter state. He was the father of three children: William H., John and Betsey.

William H. Tucker removed with his father’s family from Tennessee to Arkansas. He remained a member of the home circle until he married, then settled on a farm of his own, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Arkansas at the time civil war was inaugurated. He entered the Confederate service in General Price’s command and was on duty with the same in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana, continuing in the army until the war closed, when he started home. Before reaching home, however, he died and was buried at Clarksville, Arkansas. He was an honest, unassuming man who had worked hard to get a start; who went bravely into line and fought for what he believed to be right, and was cut down in the prime of manhood. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Methodist church. Some time after his death his widow sold the farm and moved to Huntsville, Arkansas, in order to afford her children better educational facilities, and she kept them together until they were grown. In Huntsville she married Joseph Haydon, a mechanic and contractor, with whom she subsequently moved to Washington county, Arkansas, and a year later to Hot Springs, that state, where he lived retired for a number of years and where he died. She still resides there. Of the children born to William H. and Amanda Tucker, we record that the eldest is now Mrs. Mary J. Welch; Elijah J. is the subject of this sketch; James M. is a prominent contractor; William died in Comanche county, Texas, leaving a widow and five children. By the mother’s second marriage there were four children: Tenna, Marion A., Joseph and John. For over thirty years the mother was a Methodist, after which she joined the Baptists, with whom she now affiliates.

Elijah J. Tucker remained in Arkansas until he was seventeen years old and then came to Texas, stopping first in Johnson county, where he was employed on a farm for three years, going thence at the end of that time to Bell county, where, in 1879, he married and settled down to farming on his own account. The following year he moved to Milam county. There he cultivated rented land three years. Then he went back to Bell county and bought land, on which he made his home seven years. Again he sold out and his next move was to Hardeman county, where he remained one year and from whence he went to Greer county and engaged extensively in stock-raising in connection with his farming. There he had free range for his cattle, was prosperous, and remained five years. At the end of the five years he sold both his land claim and his cattle and returned to Hardeman county, where he bought an improved farm and the next three years passed his time there in diversified farming. Again he sold out. Then he moved into the town of Bowie, where he ran a wagon yard and bought and sold horses and mules, and when he had been there a year he was ready to move again, and we next find him in Clay county, where he bought two farms. He rented these farms and he and his family lived in Cambridge in order to afford his children educational advantages. When he sold his Clay county land he bought the place on which he now resides, in the Red River Valley, near Spanish Fort. His first purchase here was one hundred and sixty-eight acres, to which he has since added until his holdings now comprise four hundred and forty acres, with four hundred acres under cultivation, all rich valley land, producing abundant and diversified crops. Here Mr. Tucker has erected a beautiful and commodious residence, modern in every respect, which is surrounded by attractive and well kept grounds, shaded with forest and fruit trees and having a wealth of roses and other flowers, this being one of the most beautiful homes in Montague county. On his land are no less than five tenant houses besides barn and other buildings, and he has two orchards of his own planting that have come into bearing.

All his life a Democrat, Mr. Tucker has taken an intelligent interest in affairs of a public nature, but has never aspired to office or to any kind of public life. He has been a careful manager, industrious and honest, never afraid to move when he thought he could better his condition, and has usually known a good thing when he saw it. Like his worthy father before him, he affiliates with the Masonic order and the Methodist church.

Mr.Tucker married Miss Hulda M. Campsey, a native of Ohio, who was born March 10, 1860, daughter of Johnson and Caroline (Mills) Campsey, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Her parents were married in Ohio, subsequently moved to Kansas and later to Missouri, and in 1875 came to Texas, settling in Bell county. Mr. Campsey afterward bought land in Coryell county, on which he made his home until death claimed him in 1878. His wife is still living, now a resident of Hardeman county. Her children in order of birth are Mrs. Martha J. Parsons, Wylie, Mrs. Emma Dodson, Mrs. Hulda M. Tucker, James (deceased), Mrs. Nancy A. Turner, Mrs. Nettie Moore, Mrs. Ida B. Midkiff, Mrs. Caroline E. Turner, Emmett G., Mrs. Lilla M. Deaver, and Sidney. Mr. and Mrs. Tucker have twelve children, namely: William M., Mrs. Mary A. Erwin, Mrs. Caroline Lee, Wylie, Effa, Edna, Otis, Laura M., James J., John D., Stella E. (deceased), and Marion A.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 244-246.