Pinckney Randolph Tully

This man, referred to as “the first white citizen of New Mexico Territory,” was born in Claiborne County, Mississippi, March 25, 1824. He was one of a large family that started across the plains of Oregon in 1845. His father died in Western Missouri and the trip was abandoned. Pinckney Tully came to Santa Fe in 1846. In 1849 he made a trip to California, with the Aubry Party. Returning through Arizona, they were attacked by Indians. Mr. Tully received a scalp wound, which he carried all his life.

Pinckney Randolph TullyIn 1858 Mr. Tully came with a wagon load of goods to Tucson. In 1864 he established a store at Tubac, then more important than Tucson, and in 1866 he came to Tucson and opened a store, and in 1868 became a permanent resident. The census of 1870 shows him as a “Retail Merchant, with a capital of $30,000.” For four years he was Treasurer of the Territory of Arizona (1875 - ), Member of the Tucson Board of Health (1876), Tucson City Treasurer (1880- 81), member of Tucson City Council (1884). Twice Mayor of Tucson (January, 1882 - ). Reception Committee in celebration of the opening of the Southern Pacific R.R. President, Pima County Bank, Charter Member Pioneer’s Society (1884). Tully Peak in the Rincon Mountains is named after him.

From Resolution passed at the time of his death by the Pioneer Society: “Mr. Tully took a lively interest in all educational movements and was always a great friend of the poor. He will long be remembered by man for his unostentatious acts of charity. He was noted as a friend of all in their deep afflictions, and it was well said of him that he was more a friend of others than of himself.” From the Arizona Star, Sept. 13, 1877: “His aid and encouragement in educating our children cannot soon be forgotten.”

Mr. Tully died in Sonoma County, California, November 10, 1903.

Charles H. Tully

From Arizona Republican, Phoenix April 12, 1922

Together with L.C. Hughes, Mr. Tully in 1877 published the first daily newspaper in this state.

He was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1853. He was educated at Saint Michael’s College from 1865 to 1869 and came to Arizona in 1870. In 1875 he was employed in the parochial schools. In 1878 he entered the newspaper business and stayed there until 1883. In this year he began teaching in the public schools and was active ever since in securing legislative enactments for the advancement of education.

Charles H. TullyChief among the results of Mr. Tully’s work for school legislation was the adoption of uniform courses of education, the adoption of uniformity in school text books. The change in methods of apportioning school funds from the basis of the census enumeration to the basis of average school attendance, and many other beneficial amendments to the school law.

Mr. Tully was appointed principal of the Tucson Public Schools in 1891 and held that position until 1899. He published the first school magazine in 1893, the same year that the first class graduated from Tucson High School.

The idea of organizing the teachers of Arizona originated in Tucson in 1892, with Mr. Tully heading the call for organization. It was Mr. Tully’s suggestion that the organization would make faster progress if joined to the joint county institute at Phoenix. Where the teachers’ association was permanently organized. Mr. Tully retired from active work as a school teacher in 1914.

He took great interest in the organizing of fraternal societies for the benefit of the Spanish-speaking people. These were the Alianza Hispano- Americana and the Porfirio Diaz Society.

Governor Fremont appointed Mr. Tully translator of the laws of the Territory of Arizona. For four years he served as secretary of the Arizona Pioneers’ Historical Society.

It has been said, “He pursued an eventful career, trying to do as little harm and as much good as he could to his fellowman within the sphere of his ability.”


Tully Magnet Elementary, a “B” school, was named for Pinckney Randolph Tully, a businessman who survived the western railroad expansion to become a twice-elected Tucson Mayor, and his adopted son, Charles Hopkins Tully, who later became Superintendent for Tucson Unified School District.

Tully Elementary was opened to students in 1957 and lies to the rear of El Rio Golf Course. In 1985, the school underwent renovation, expanded the library, developed a computer lab, and refurbished the main office and the intermediate wing. The remodeled library is one of the largest elementary libraries in Tucson Unified School District. In the early 2000s, another building was constructed which features four additional classrooms. The site also maintains a primary wing and two preschool classrooms. 

Tully Elementary courtyardPrevious principals include JV Stroud, William Bowers, Ernesto Galaz, Julie Strand (later an Assistant Superintendent), Dr. Ann Shaffer, Andy Diaz (Ret. General /Air Force National Guard), Judith P. Carlsten, Dr. Roman Soltero (son of former State Senator, Victor Soltero).

What Makes Us Special

Tully Magnet Elementary School’s staff and administrators believe all students are uniquely gifted, and teachers strive to inspire a passion for lifelong learning that is nurtured through a whole-child approach. Students are encouraged to celebrate who they are as individuals, while embracing their role in a global society.

The Tully GATE Magnet program is a modified Self-Contained Model and provides that all students receive the same instruction and strategies, full time, in a self-contained classroom environment. Teachers work directly with GATE educators and have a positive instructional model.

Tully Elementary Magnet School is the district’s only elementary Gifted and Talented Education magnet school. Teachers collaborate and create integrated thematic units using inquiry-based approaches. Students learn to examine broad-based issues through risk-taking, curiosity, imagination and complex challenges.