Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Texas Ranger History: Timeline - Enforcing the Law
Major John B. Jones
Frontier Battalion, composed of six companies of 75 men each
- later reduced to 40 men each - is created to range the frontier
and uphold the laws and peace of Texas.
John B. Jones
is appointed Major in charge of the Frontier Battalion and later
becomes the Texas Adjutant General.
Force is created to augment the Frontier Battalion and proved
protection in the Nueces Strip. Leander McNelly is appointed Captain
over the Force.
intercede in the Sutton-Taylor Feud in DeWitt and Clinton counties.
Capt. Leander McNelly
Rangers intercede in the Mason County War, a disagreement between
pro-Union German-Americans and former Confederates over cattle theft.
McNelly and 30 Rangers illegally cross the Mexican border in pursuit
of rustlers led by General Juan Cortina. After attacking the wrong
ranch, McNelly and 30 men are surrounded by rustlers and Mexican
troops. Defying U.S. government orders to return to Texas, McNelly
demands the return of 75 head of stolen cattle and the surrender
of his adversaries. The cattle are returned and McNelly leaves for
Texas after provoking an international incident.
Leander McNelly dies from tuberculosis. The State of Texas released
him from service due to the cost of his medical bills and incapacity.
The Special Force will continue its service until merged with Company
F of the Frontier Battalion in 1881.
the control of salt deposits near El Paso leads to the El Paso Salt
War. Men from the El Paso area are quickly enlisted as Texas Rangers
to maintain order until experienced Rangers can arrive.
Rangers are attacked and surrounded. They surrender a prisoner who
is later killed. The Texas Rangers are eventually able to restore
order and end the "Salt War." After this incident "never
surrender" becomes part of the Ranger creed.
intercede in the Horrell-Higgins Feud in Lampasas and Burnet counties.
Frontier Battalion Major John B. Jones ends the fighting by forcing
a signed peace agreement.
John B. Armstrong
captures outlaw John Wesley Hardin after a shoot-out in passenger
train car in Pensacola, Florida.
The U.S. Army
ends the Comanche threat at Palo Duro Canyon when they destroy a
large portion of the Comanche horse heard.
Outlaw Sam Bass
every law officer in Texas is placed on lookout for the notorious
outlaw Sam Bass. Rangers eventually track Bass to Round Rock where
he and his men are killed while attempting to rob the Round Rock
G.W. Arrington and Texas Rangers Company C explore the Texas Panhandle
in search of Indians stealing horses from the Slaughter Ranch. They
locate water holes and supply reliable information that makes expanded
settlement of the Panhandle possible.
Indians attack a stagecoach near the Diablo Mountains in West Texas.
Captain George Baylor's Company A, with Pueblo Indian scouts, attack
their camp. This incident marks the end of the Indian Wars in Texas.
Range advocates and rustlers wage war on farmers and ranchers using
barbed wire fence, resorting to threats, intimidation and murder
to advance their cause. Rangers are called in to stop fence cutting
and protect people and property.
Texas Rangers are summoned to El Paso to prevent the illegal Maher-Fitzsimmons
heavyweight prize fight.
this may be the event that spawned the "One Riot, One Ranger"
phrase -- although virtually every Ranger in Texas was on hand.
The fight was moved to an "island" in the middle of the
Rio Grande river between the U.S. and Mexico.
Galveston hurricane proves to be the most destructive in U.S. history
to that date. Texas Rangers are called in to maintain peace and
uphold the law in the disaster area.