Monday, February 7, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Texas Rangers; One Riot, One Ranger

Texas is known for a million things, but one of the most famous institutions in the state is the Texas Rangers. And I'm not talking about the baseball team. I'm talkin' bad mamma jamma law enforcement here.
Texas Rangers***

The roots of the Rangers go back to the very first American settlers to migrate to then Mexican Texas with Stephen F. Austin in 1823. They have been in nearly continuous service to Texas and its citizens since then. Think about it. That's nearly 200 years. Created as a security force for those early settlers, the Texas Rangers are today one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the world. They have fought Indians, captured or killed Mexican badidos, tracked down bank robbers and were instrumental in the killing of two of the 20th Century's most notorious outlaws - Bonnie and Clyde. Long time Texas Ranger legend Frank Hamer spearheaded the efoorts the capture or kill the duo on May 23, 1934. Wikipedia picks up the story from there, "Frank Hamer, the longtime Ranger captain, left the Rangers in 1932. In 1934, at the request of Col. Lee Simmons, head of the Texas prison system, Hamer was asked to use his skills to track down Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, whose Barrow gang had engineered a successful breakout of associates imprisoned at Huntsville. Prisoner and Barrow friend Joe Palmer had killed a guard while escaping, and the Barrow gang was responsible for many murders, robberies, and car thefts in Texas alone. Nine law enforcement officers had already died in confrontations with the gang.
After tracking the Barrow gang across nine states, Hamer, in conjunction with officials in Louisiana, learned that Bonnie and Clyde had visited a home in Bienville Parish on May 21, 1934, and that Clyde had designated a rendezvous point in the vicinity with gang member Henry Methvin, in case they were later separated. Methvin, allegedly cooperating with law enforcement, made sure that he was separated from them that evening in Shreveport, and the posse set up an ambush along the route to the rendezvous at Highway 154, between Gibsland and Sailes. Led by former Rangers Hamer and B. M. "Manny" Gault, the posse included Sheriff Henderson Jordan and Deputy Prentiss Oakley of Bienville Parish, Louisiana, and Dallas County Deputies Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton. They were in place by 9:00 that night, waiting all through the next day, but with no sign of Bonnie and Clyde.
Around 9:00 a.m. on May 23, the posse, concealed in the bushes and almost ready to concede defeat, heard Clyde's stolen Ford V-8 approaching. When he stopped to speak with Henry Methvin's father (planted there with his truck that morning to distract Clyde and force him into the lane closest to the posse), the lawmen opened fire, killing Bonnie and Clyde while shooting a combined total of approximately 130 rounds. The United States Congress awarded Hamer a special citation for trapping and killing the outlaws.[citation needed]"

Two words bad guys hate to hear are Texas and Rangers. They know that an elite team of law enforcement personnel are hot on their trail and their capture or death awaits them. The Rangers have come a long ways since those early days of roving the frontier of 1820s Texas, but their mission has always been to protect the citizens of Texas, no matter the cost. And for nearly two centuries, the Texas Rangers have been kickin' ass and takin' names. Just remember the Texas rangers' unofficial motto, "One riot, One Ranger". Enough said.

***Photo from***

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker