Saturday, June 22, 2024

“Quintessential pioneer woman” honored with historical marker near Azle


WEATHERFORD — Martha Elizabeth Cockburn Tucker was one of the hundreds of thousands of settlers who migrated to Texas in the mid-19th century. After her family applied for a homestead grant in 1851, they moved by ox cart from Georgia to what would become Veal Station and became some of the earliest Anglos to settle in Parker County.

Friday, May 18, Tucker was immortalized during the official dedication ceremony of a marker from the Texas Historical Commission. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Parker County Judge Pat Deen were just two of the high-profile individuals who attended and spoke at the event honoring Tucker.

According to Dr. Harold Lawrence of the Museum of Americas, when the American Civil War broke out, Tucker’s husband Moses Tucker left to fight on the side of the Confederate states. Martha Tucker assumed management of the farm as well as raising their three small children. Moses Tucker returned after the war and the two ended up raising a total of eight children on the property. Today — 168 years later — the farm remains in the hands of her descendants. Martha Tucker’s great-great-granddaughter Norlene Carter still lives on the property with her husband Mike. A great-grandson of Martha and Moses Tucker, Rev. Steve Seaberry, led the ceremony’s invocation and read the text engraved on the historical marker.

The Texas Historical Commission recognized Martha Tucker and her family home to shed light on the history and life experiences of women living in rural communities during this period. Living off the land, the Tuckers built a considerable home for themselves and were quite well-off, owning many livestock. This success came despite many hardships and anxieties. A program for the event describes one specific instance where Tucker and her neighbors expressed their fears of Comanche and Kiowa raids. After her husband’s passing, Martha Tucker continued to run her farm with her children for 25 years. Her descendants said they are honored to have seen the marker unveiled and for Tucker to receive due attention.