According to the Technovelgy.com website the first use of the term "tractor beam" was in E.E. Smith's Spacehounds of IPC, 1931.
A force field used to pull objects.
Read an early example of this specialized kind of force field. This is the first instance of the term "tractor beam."
"We'll carry off the pieces of that ship, too, Quince—we may be able to get a lot of pointers from it," and Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel, then extended a couple of smaller rays to meet the two little figures racing across the smooth green meadow toward the Sirius.
From Spacehounds of IPC, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
The same device is used in Triplanetary
Although Smith certainly won the naming convention, Edmond Hamilton wrote about essentially the same thing three years earlier in Crashing Suns - the attractive ray.>
This is a very early reference to what sci-fi fans have come to refer to as the "tractor beam." The term tractor beam occurs first in E.E "Doc" Smith's Spacehounds of IPC three years later.
A spark of intense white light had suddenly broken into being on the platform beneath us, a beam of blinding light that stabbed straight up toward us, bathing the cruiser in its unearthly glow. And suddenly our ship was falling!
Sarto Sen sprang to the controls wrenched around the power-lever. "That ray!" he cried. "It's attractive! - it's pulling us down!" Our ship was vibrating now to the full force of its generators, but still we were falling...
From Crashing Suns, by Edmond Hamilton.
So other answerers will have to find use of the term "tractor beam" before 1931, or use of the device under a different name before 1928.