Williamson County
Historical Commission


  Rev. Lewis Gordon Tucker and
Hannah Rosewell Rhea-Tucker
Pioneers of Williamson County

Rev. Lewis Gordon Tucker and
Hannah Rosewell Rhea-Tucker

William Bacon Tucker

Brothers Rev. Lewis Gordon Tucker and William Bacon Tucker arrived in 1857 in what is now Leander.  These brothers where married to sisters Nancy Rhea and Hannah Roswell Rhea.  Their mother was Anne Austin….a first cousin of Stephen F. Austin.


Rev Lewis Gordon Tucker is credited with preaching the very first Cumberland Presbyterian sermon in this part of Texas and with organizing 4 early churches. (see attached document).  His son James Milton Tucker was a Williamson county Sheriff’s deputy and is credited with the capture of the famous outlaw Sam Bass in 1878.  He later served as Williamson County Sheriff from 1881 to 1884.  James Milton Tucker and brother John Tucker served in the civil war as members of The Williamson County Grays, Company C, 7th Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers.


William Bacon Tucker is listed as the oldest marked grave (1865) in the Rocky Hollow Cemetery near Andice.  Most of the others were buried in Matsler Cemetery not far away.


Rev. Lewis Gordon Tucker
William Bacon Tucker
Historical Narrative


Rev. R. O. Watkins, who was located at Bosqueville (then in the bounds of Little River Presbytery) in 1860, tells of attending his first meeting of Little River Presbytery on Cowhouse Creek. Members of the presbytery had to carry their guns and pistols with them all the time while presbytery was in session, as the whole country was in a state of alarm because of Indian depredations. He also mentions preaching at Salado Springs and Akin on the Leon, and spent some time in a meeting at "Roundrock campbround," in the course of his travels over the country attending presbytery and synod, so it is evident that congregations had been organized at these places at a very early date.


Among the first ministers to locate in Williamson County was Rev. Lewis G. Tucker. He was born in Maury County, Tennessee, January 12, 1811. At the age of twenty-five he was converted and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. At this time he was teaching school, but immediately realizing his call he entered the ministry. In 1836 he married Hannah Rhea, Stephen F. Austin's first cousin.


In October, 1857, they reached Texas and camped north of Austin at Pond Springs. Brown Davis, a colony builder, hearing about the new family rode over to their camp and extended an invitation to them to locate with him at old Block House, a fort built (and occupied by a few families) to protect the early settlers. Upon learning that Tucker was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, Mr. Davis was more eager than ever to get him to locate with them and hold services. The meeting between the Davis and Tucker families was like a family reunion, as both were Cumberland Presbyterians. This was the first Cumberland Presbyterian sermon preached in this part of Texas. Soon afterward a church was organized with twelve members and was called Pond Springs.


Later he moved fourteen miles west of Georgetown on a farm which he cultivated for a living, while he preached over a territory in a radius of sixty miles of his home. He always traveled by horseback, and in his saddle bag could be found the Holy Bible, a hymn book, and clean socks and shirt which were ever ready through the faithful help of his devoted wife. He organized churches at Pond Springs (known now as Pleasant Hill), Elm Grove (known now as Oak Grove), Hopewell, and Hudson's Bend.


With regard to the early history of Elm Grove, which was located in the community where the Tuckers lived, the following incident is related. Located in the same community was another Cumberland Presbyterian family named Matsler, and it was through Mrs. Matsler's influence, together with the help of the Tucker family, that a Sunday school was organized. Another Cumberland Presbyterian minister, Rev. W. R. Bauchman, also moved into this community, and it was decided among them that they should build a church. While they were hewing the logs an intruder came along and demanded to know if they realized whose timber they were using. Mr. Matsler who was overseeing the job remarked that he "didn't suppose it mattered." Some curt words were exchanged, and Bauchman, realizing that trouble was close at hand, yelled out, "Hold on, Brother Matsler, I'll fix him," as he rolled up his sleeves with ax in hand, whereupon the intruder took to flight. There was no further interference, and the log church was completed. Rev. L. G. Tucker died in 1880.


In the minutes of Little River Presbytery for December, 1883, there is a petition from a group of members of the Elm Grove congregation asking that the congregation be divided into two congregations. This was done, and a new congregation was organized known as Pilot Knob, which was in existence for a number of years. Evidently this congregation and Elm Grove were later united to form the Oak Grove congregation.
[Source: History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Texas. By Thomas H. Campbell. Nashville, Tenn.: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1936, pages 109-111.]


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