The Texas Rangers

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Members Company "B", Texas Rangers, camped on San Saba River, Sept. 1896.  Left to right: Edgar T. Neal; Alan R. Maddox; Tom Johnson (cook); Dudley S. Barker; John L. Sullivan.

In memory of Inez Sterling Adams (Jan. 12, 1923 - Apr. 15, 2002), daughter of the former head of the Texas Rangers and Texas Adjutant General W.W. Sterling.  Thank you for your input and help in the making of this page, and most of all, your kindness.  You will be missed. - Ralph

The Ranger story begins in 1823, the Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin realized the need for a body of men to protect his colony, and the land settlement effort that marked the beginning of Texas’ development.

On August 5, 1823, on the back of a proclamation issued by Land Commissioner Baron de Bastrop, Austin wrote that he would “...employ ten men...to act as rangers for the common defense...the wages I will give said ten men is fifteen dollars a month payable in property...”

Texas Rangers Company "A" In 1903 - Inez Sterling Adams.  Front row, Jessie Miller, Sergenant Winfred Bates, Captain J.A. Brooks, Lonnie Livingston.  Back row, Tom Franks, A.Y. Baker, John Puckett and George Wallis.

These men, not soldier, not even militia, “ranged” the area of Austin’s colony, protecting settlers from Indians.  When no threat seemed evident, the men returned to their families and land.

Despite Austin’s plan to pay a group of Rangers, the defense effort continued primarily on a voluntary basis.


The Texas Rangers were officially established in 1835, while Texas was in the midst of revolution against Mexico.   The Texas Rangers remained an independent law enforcement agency until 1935, when they became part of a newer and larger law enforcement agency, the Texas Department of Public Safety

I've had numerous requests for information about individual Texas Rangers.   The best source that I can find is the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.  Click on the below image to visit the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.  In every case, the individuals at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum have been extremely helpful. 
 

Click Here To Visit The Texas Rangers Hall Of Fame And Museum

Ranger Captain Reunion

Five Ranger Captains whose service extended from 1876 to 1933.  Seated Captain Dan Roberts, Company D.  Standing, from left to right, Captain J.A. Brooks, Adjutant General W.W. Sterling, former Ranger Captain, Frank A. Hamer, and Captain John R. Hughes.  The photo was taken in Austin, Texas - August, 1931.

Photo: Inez Sterling Adams


The Bandit War

The Bandit War took place in the lower Rio Grande valley of Texas, between 1910  and 1918.  The war was a result of the Mexican Revolution, between 1910 and 1920.  Visit the Robert Runyon Photograph Collection of the South Texas Border Area, a collection of over 8,000 items, is a unique visual resource documenting the Lower Rio Grande Valley during the early 1900s.

In the photo to the right; rangers Tom Mayfield, W.W. Sterling, and O.D. Cardwell are shown in Pharr, Texas during the height of the Bandit War.  W.W. (Bill) Sterling would later become Adjutant General of Texas. 

As governors changed, Ranger leadership usually changed.  Though history shows many good men wore the Ranger badge, in the 1920s and 1930s, the system was rife with politics and ripe for abuse.

Tom Mayfield, W.W. Sterling, O.D. Cardwell - Inez Sterling Adams

When Governor Miriam "Ma" Ferguson took office in 1933, Adjutant General W.W. Sterling resigned his office in protest of criminals being appointed as Texas Rangers by "Ma" Ferguson.  Forty Rangers, including his good friend Capt. Frank Hamer, left with him.  Frank Hamer would later track down and kill the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Another Bonnie and Clyde web site.

 
Texas Rangers In The Texas Panhandle - Inez Sterling Adams

The Borger Cleanup

Murder, gambling, prostitution, and other illegal activities took place in the pan handle of Texas during the oil boom in 1927.  Then Governor Dan Moody ordered the Texas Rangers to clean up the mess.  One of the oil boom towns was Borger.  Before the rangers arrived, there were three peace officers killed in three days.

Visitors at the Adobe Walls Monument in the Texas Panhandle during the first Borger Cleanup.  Standing, left to right, Wesley Bryce, Captain W. W. Sterling, and Captain Frank A. Hammer.  Seated, Deputy Sheriff Jack DeGraftenreid, and Ranger (Later Captain) Hardy Purvis.


Raid On The Norias Division Of The King Ranch

The Norias Division of the King Ranch is located about 70 miles south of the King Ranch headquarters in Kingsville, Texas.  The Norias  Headquarters was located along the railroad tracks.  At the time, the only route between Riviera and Raymondville was the railroad, as no highway existed. 

In 1915, a bandit raid took place at the old Norias Headquarters  and the Texas Rangers participated.  Today, the Norias Headquarters is located several miles east of U.S. Highway 77, and is not open to the public. 

Click on the photograph at right to read about the Norias raid.  

Click Here To Read About The Raids On Norias

Some Interesting Texas Ranger Information

Click Here To The Visit Frontier Battalion Texas Rangers Exhibit
The Frontier Battalion Texas Rangers Exhibit is a living history organization headquartered at Enchanted Springs Ranch in Scenic Boerne, Texas. We aim at keeping the factual history of the Texas Rangers alive while at the same time providing an enjoyable experience to our guests.

The exhibit will be displaying old and recent Ranger photographs, facts on Texas Rangers and items of interest to the Frontier Battalion’s history in addition to movie props that were used in various western movies filmed at Enchanted Springs Ranch. Also, at scheduled events, the exhibit will have on display firearms, badges, Mexican Revolutionary artifacts, and items such as leather holsters and belts and badges that belonged to former Texas Rangers

 

 


The Ranger's Prayer

Shown to the right is the Ranger's Prayer.  Written by Virginia-born Reverend Dr. Pierre Bernard Hill, Chaplain Texas Rangers.   He was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, and he was appointed Chaplain of the Texas Rangers by Governor Dan Moody.  Compatible with the dignity of his post and the affection in which he was held, he was also promoted to Captain in the Texas Rangers.  Later, he was the Poet Laureate of Texas (1955-57). Virtually every old time Ranger has it hanging in their home. One of his sons (David) became a Flying Tiger during WWII.


Songs With A Texas Ranger Theme

I received an e-mail from a Texas Ranger admirer, Bruno Wilfahrt, of North Bavaria, Germany.  He asked if I had a list of songs with a Texas Ranger theme?  I had not given it any thought.  However, Bruno was kind enough to provide me with a list of his collection of songs with a Texas Ranger theme:

Roy Rogers: A lonely ranger am I Roy Rogers: Ride ranger ride
Tex Ritter: The Texas Rangers Sheb Wooley: Silver Target
Marty Robbins: The Outlaws Marty Robbins: Ava Maria Morales
Marty Robbins: Sundown Marty Robbins: Big iron
Michael Ballew: Where are the rangers Garth Brooks: In lonesome dove
Garth Brooks: Cowboy Bill Johnny Western: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Billy Walker: The lawman Don Edwards: Sam Bass
The Texas Ranger's Prayer - Provided By Inez Sterling Adams

 Last Update: Thursday, October 03, 2002 03:09 PM