History

3 Famous Texas Rangers (Not Including Chuck Norris)

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Captain Bill McDonald (September 28, 1852 – January 15, 1918)

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William Jesse McDonald, or simply Bill, took Hays’ attitude and mixed in a bit of humor and hubris. It can be summed up in one succinct little anecdote:

When Bill McDonald was sent to Dallas to prevent an illegal prizefight, he showed up at the train station alone. The Dallas mayor was shocked and asked him, “where are the others?”

To which McDonald replied, “Hell, ain’t I enough? There’s only one prize fight!”
When McDonald was young he moved from Mississippi to work in a grocery store in Wood County, Texas. He developed an interest in law enforcement and promptly become deputy sheriff. This career took him to different counties where he fought against gangs, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements until he finally became Ranger at the age of 31.

McDonald was one of the “Four Great Captains” of Texas Rangers, and interestingly enough he never had to kill anyone in a gun fight. He was known for his way with words – whether through tact or intimidation. Later in his career McDonald even briefly served as a bodyguard to President Theodore Roosevelt and by his 50s had moved to Austin where to work in government. Throughout his career, he was known as “a man who would charge hell with a bucket of water.”

Frank Hamer(March 17, 1884 – July 10, 1955)

Photo: wikipedia.org

Hamer, the only native Texan of the three, was a Texas Ranger based in Austin. During Hamer’s time, the organization was undergoing deep transformations and the west was quickly becoming closer and tamer. Many of his colleagues were trading out horses for cars.

He is most famous for tracking down and killing Bonnie and Clyde, but he was active during generally violent times when bank robberies were an epidemic. His career was riddled with gunfights and he quickly became a legend for his accuracy, bravery and uncanny ability to come out on top – no matter the odds. Over the course of his career Hamer had been wounded 17 times, and although he didn’t talk about his gunfights while alive historians argue over the number of men he killed, ranging from a dozen to 70. His favorite weapon was a pearl-handled Single Action Colt .45 revolver he called “Old Lucky.”