May 2023

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Newsletter

Department the City of Waco

Official State Repository of Texas Ranger Memorabilia

Home of Texas Ranger Bicentennial 1823-2023

Gift of George W. Baylor's Violin

The family of David Lee King has donated a historic violin associated with Hall of Fame inductee George W. Baylor, the California Gold Rush and the Texas Rangers. It is on exhibit in the New Acquisitions case in the lobby.

George W. Baylor’s Violin, c. 1859. Gift of the David Lee King Family/ 2023.012.001

George W. Baylor photo from 1915. Image Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University

Baylor was born August 2, 1832, in Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. In 1845, his family moved to Texas and later, through the influence of his uncle Robert Baylor, he attended Baylor University at Independence, Texas before its move to Waco.

Gold fever took him to California in 1854. According to family letters, George could not find steady employment or strike it rich in the gold fields. Before returning to Texas, he purchased a violin which he kept until his death in 1916. For more information on George Baylor see the Texas Historical Commission page TSHA | Baylor, George Wythe (

The documentation on the violin is extensive and remarkably conclusive. In his journals Baylor describes its purchase, and a circa 1915 picture shows him holding the violin with its distinctive wear and imperfections visible in detail.

BBQ Cookoff Coming in June

As part of the 200th anniversary of the Texas Rangers led by Texas Ranger 2023, Inc., a Texas Ranger BBQ Cookoff will be held at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. Up to 150 entrants from across the state will compete Thursday June 1st and Friday June 2nd. The event is free for the general public to attend.

Advisory Board Chair of the Hall of Fame and Museum, Hank Whitman, planned the BBQ competition which will be organized and judged by the Lone Star BBQ Society. Competitors will match their skills against one another for prizes awarded for overall People’s Choice, and Best Ribs, Chicken, and Brisket.

The Grand Champion will carry home a three-tiered, Texas-sized trophy made of native Texas woods that tells the story of the Texas Rangers in eight panels. It was created by Whitman, an accomplished woodworker and Judge of Wilson County. For registration information, please visit

Museum Goes Viral on Facebook

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum has a presence on social media, especially Facebook. We post content ranging from historical information to new collections items to staff favorite highlights and educational activities like journal prompts. A post may receive 500 likes and 100 comments.

Then on April 3rd, the Museum mentioned it was the birthday of Hall of Fame member William "Big Foot" Wallace. We did not expect the reaction: over one million (1,014,000+) people saw it, over 15,000 people liked it, over 540 commented on it and over 2,600 shared it to their walls for friends to enjoy. In addition, the Museum's followers grew by over 900 members. We appreciate everyone who helped us go "viral" on Facebook.

Locals Love Us Award

Of the 37 nominees, TRHFM is honored to again be a Top 5 Winner of "Best Tourist Attraction" by locals voting in the annual Locals Love Us contest.

TRHFM Award Years:

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2022
  • 2023

Locals Love Us starts with locals voting for their favorite places in more than 200 categories, because locals know best which businesses really stand apart from the rest.

Texas Ranger Talks Coming This Summer

Our next Western Crafts & Story Time Day will be Saturday, May 13th from 10am to 1pm. May's theme is "The Science of Clues." Activities are included with museum admission.

Our first Texas Ranger Talk on June 10th kickoffs with two presentations by Texas Ranger John Lingle. It is also our annual Home on the Range Day! We'll have reenactment groups from 10am - 2pm on site to show off the tools Rangers used on the frontier.

New Movie: One Ranger

British Intelligence meets Texas Justice in this white-knuckle action-thriller. A gunslinging Texas Ranger (Thomas Jane) tracks a bank robber (Dean Jagger) across the desert — only to discover he’s an international terrorist set on detonating a bomb in the heart of London. When the lawman’s partner is killed, he is drawn into partnership with a British intelligence agent (Dominique Tipper) and her boss (John Malkovich) to bring the outlaw to justice — dead or alive.

One Ranger comes to theaters May 5th.

Please click here to watch the trailer.

The First Pitch

On opening day March 29th at the Globe Life Field ballpark, over sixty active and retired Texas Rangers were invited to mark the 200th anniversary year. They represented the Texas Rangers during a tailgate party event and lined the infield during opening ceremonies and the National Anthem. Lieutenant Ranger Reuben Mankin was honored to throw the opening pitch. Other notable guests included: Former President George W. Bush, Governor Greg Abbott, Nolan Ryan and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

A special thanks to Retired Captain Barry Caver for the images.

Women's Leadership Symposium Recap

The Museum was honored to host the second annual Women in Public Safety Leadership Symposium in Knox Center on March 30th. The speakers included: Waco Police Chief Sheryl Victorian, Forney Police Chief Carrie White and Texas Ranger Captain Wende Wakeman. These women have inspired and paved the way for the next generation of women in public safety leadership positions.

Barry Caver Honored at the CJCB 5-Year Anniversary

Retired Captain Barry Caver was recognized last month by Texas A&M-Commerce College of Innovation and Design because of his continued support of their Criminal Justice program. A lifelong dream, he received his Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice degree from TAMUC back in December 2020. Barry currently serves on advisory boards of both TRHFM and the Competency Based Criminal Justice Degree Program at TAMUC. He has a passion for this program and wants to see other law enforcement officers succeed in getting their degrees.

Please visit CJCB 5-Year Anniversary to watch.

In Memoriam: Rondy T. Gray

We are sad to note the passing of Emeritus Board Member Rondy T. Gray, 89, of Waco. Rondy supported and advocated for the Hall of Fame and Museum since its opening in 1968 and served several terms on its Advisory Board. He lobbied the legislature to secure State support for the Company F Texas Ranger Headquarters and the Tobin and Anne Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center. He and wife Jackie supported Baylor University and many other local charitable and educational efforts. We extend our condolences to his wife Jackie, children, grand and great grandchildren. 

Please click here to read his obituary.

Survived Construction T-shirt

We did it! Celebrate the coming end of I-35 construction in front of the Museum with either a gray or yellow t-shirt available in adult small - 2xl. $16.00 + Tax

To shop more items available for purchase, please visit our Gift Shop online or in person 9am to 4:30pm daily. You never have to pay admission to shop. Sales from the Gift Shop benefit the preservation and education activities of the Museum. Please call (254) 750- 8631 or email to order. We ship worldwide. Thank you! 

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and BicentennialTM Support

Contribute to the TRHFM in honor of the Texas Rangers Bicentennial™ in 2023. With a $100 contribution, you will receive:

  1. A limited-edition enameled bronze pin featuring a Texas Ranger Bicentennial™ seal
  2. A certificate signed by an active or distinguished retired Texas Ranger
  3. Your name or family name on the online roster of Bicentennial Supporters™
  4. A one-time-use family admission ticket (admits 4) to the Museum.

$90 of the contribution qualifies as a charitable contribution. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame is a 170(c) government-owned nonprofit.

Please click here to learn more about the program.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Bicentennial Pin

Trademarked by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety Designed by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

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$2.00 OFF

Expires 6/30/2023

Save $1.00 off regular adult admission for up to two adults. Coupon not valid on discounted senior or military admission. No cash value.

The museum is open 9am to 5pm with the last guest admitted at 4:30pm. The museum is located off I-35 and University Parks Drive in Waco, Texas. For more information, call (254) 750-8631 or visit

Newsletter Compiled by Christine Rothenbush, Marketing & Development Specialist