Western Life

The Trials and Tribulations of the Texas Rangers

Founded by Stephen Austin in 1823, the Texas Rangers were still operational more than 50 years later during which their ranks had witnessed their fair share of conflict. We will look at the challenges they faced as they moved well into the 19th century.

Government Approved

Once the Mexican American War in mid-19th century was over and many had moved across the border, the rangers faced fresh concerns. Naturally, an increase in the population came with its own issues. For instance, Texas Rangers were tasked with maintaining tranquility in San Elizario in 1877 and were also involved in the Fence Cutting Wars a few years later.

Besides the sustained skirmishes that broke out, the Texas Rangers also assisted the Sabine Country Sheriff in apprehending the notorious Conner Gang, a group of miscreants that were a nuisance for inhabitants of the region at the time.

As the country progressed and more states became part of America, the regions formed their own law enforcement teams, which rendered the rangers futile in some instances. This led to diminished ranks, but they still did not end their operations.

Texan Rangers in the 20th Century

Fast forward a few decades and the rangers were once again at the helm of law enforcement. In the 20’s, the Texas Rangers were revitalized under a new stewardship. They were responsible for controlling smugglers and cattle rustlers who were functional on the border.

Unfortunately, the 30’s were not kind to the ranger’s ranks. In the aftermath of an election, they were dismantled by the winner, Miriam Ferguson. In their absence, the region witnessed years of anarchy.

The next monumental change that occurred in their history was when the rangers were under the supervision of the Texas Department of Public Safety. This amendment was made in 1935 and for the first time, the rangers were one cog in a larger machine.

They were no longer responsible for patrolling and policing the border. That role was assigned to designated Highway Patrol officers. The rangers, on the other hand, were meant to perform detective duties in the new set up.

Editorial credit: Olga Popova / Shutterstock.com

It was in this era that Texas Rangers garnered considerable media attention for their work. For example, they were the inspiration behind The Lone Ranger television show that aired in 1949. It became a phenomenon and a feature film adaptation was even released in the 21st century!

Hollywood productions resulted in the rangers being regarded as heroes; law enforcement individuals who were synonymous with the carriage of justice.

All in all, the Texas Rangers boast more than two centuries of stories. What began as an intimate group became one of the foremost police forces in modern day America. In present day USA, the rangers are heavily involved in scrutinizing severe crimes, an ode to the rangers of yesteryear.

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