November 2021
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Newsletter
Sponsored by the City of Waco
Official State Historical Center of the Texas Rangers
Home of Texas Ranger Bicentennial 1823-2023
Watching Over Texas - The Texas Rangers
Our holiday gift has come a little early! It's a life-size sculpture of a 19th Century Texas Ranger, gifted by Sherry and J. Robert Brown in honor of Ranger Walter Russell. Sherry Brown is the granddaughter of the late Ranger Russell who served in the 1950s. Watching over Texas - The Texas Rangers by artist Edd Hayes depicts an average Ranger from the 1800s. Hayes was named by The Texas Legislature as “Official Texas State Sculptor” for the year 1998-1999.
Our Collections division supervised the transport of the sculpture from the Texas Hill Country. The artist used a multi-patina process to create the colors on the bronze.  The patina process requires indoor display and the statue is currently on display in the Hall of Fame lobby.
Edd Hayes, Official Texas State Sculptor
Commissions include:
  • ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American CowboyColorado Springs, CO
  • Baylor University – School of Law
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
  • Texas Legislative Council
  • Texas A & M University
  • Baylor College of MedicineHouston
  • Texas Department of Transportation
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Vice Lombardi Foundation
  • Crime Stoppers – Houston
  • Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation
Texas Ranger Walter Russell 1903-1986
Walter Russell was born in Presidio, Texas, and grew up on horse ranches in Oregon and Arizona. During the early 1920s, Russell worked as an Arizona Ranger and for the Chiricahua Cattle Company on the 3-C’s Ranch. He moved to Texas in 1930 and was employed as an investigation and security officer for the Central Power and Light Company. Russell was also a scout for the Texas Animal Health Commission from 1938 to 1941.
Left to Right: Walter Russell, Pete Rogers, and unknown officer
During World War II, he served as a civilian investigator for the United States Government. In 1952 he was appointed to the Texas Rangers and assigned to Company D headquartered in Alice, Texas. During the 1950s Walter was involved with the takedown of George Parr, “The Duke of Duval,” a corrupt politician. 
Walter’s knowledge and horseback skills brought him in contact with celebrities like Tom Mix and Walter Brennan, along with western writer Zane Grey. Walter retired from the Regular Ranger service in 1967. He served as a Special Ranger with the East brothers on the King Ranch until 1975. His later years were devoted to raising horses on his Rocking “R” Ranch in Kingsville, Texas.
Veterans Day 2021
We honor our service members, veterans and military personnel this Veterans Day. On Thursday, November 11th, all active duty personnel, retirees and veterans will receive free admission to the Museum while their family will receive discounted admissions (with valid military ID or documentation).
Book Signing Day
On Saturday, November 13th, authors and historians Bob Alexander and Doug Dukes will be doing a book signing. Alexander has authored eight books about the Texas Rangers, and Dukes authored a study of Ranger firearms. Books can be bought in the Museum Gift Shop. Please call the museum to inquire about specifics.
The Sutton Collection: Feuds and Family
This is your last chance to see the exhibit The Sutton Collection: Feuds and Family! The exhibit presents the story of the Sutton-Taylor feud, including its connection to the Texas Rangers. It also examines the lives and relationships of the Sutton and Calhoun family in late 19th and early 20th century Texas. 
Recently, descendants of the Sutton family visited the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum to view the exhibit. Virginia Itz had been studying her family genealogy and organized a trip to Waco so that she and her mother, Martha Calhoun Tarkington, could see the exhibit. Martha Calhoun Tarkington is a great granddaughter of William Sutton, one of the chief figures in the Sutton-Taylor Feud. 
The Sutton-Taylor feud during the 1860s and 1870s became known as one of the bloodiest feuds in Texas history. William Sutton was killed by members of the Taylor faction while boarding a steamship at Indianola, Texas, in 1874. He left behind his then pregnant wife Laura Sutton, who soon gave birth to their child, a daughter named Willie.
We encourage you to view the exhibit in the Armstrong Research Center before it comes down at the end of the year. The exhibit is available for viewing Monday through Friday when our library staff is in the Research Center. When you arrive at the museum, let the front desk staff know you would like to see the Sutton exhibit in the Research Center and they can direct you.
Read more about the Sutton-Taylor feud here:
Descendants of the Sutton Family stand in front of William Sutton’s travel trunk, which was reportedly with him on the day he died in 1874. It is always exciting to connect history to modern-day. Virginia Itz (left) and her mother Martha Calhoun Tarkington (middle) and John Guillot (right) are descended from the Suttons/Calhouns.
New Bicentennial Book on Captain Wright
McCaslin, Richard B. Texas Ranger Captain William L. Wright. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2021. Hardcover. 416 pages. $34.95
William L. Wright (1868–1942) was born to be a Texas Ranger, and hard work made him a great one. Wright tried working as a cowboy and farmer, but it did not suit him. Instead, he became a deputy sheriff and then a Ranger in 1899, battling a mob in the Laredo Smallpox Riot, policing both sides in the Reese-Townsend Feud, and winning a gunfight at Cotulla.
His need for a better salary led him to leave the Rangers and become a sheriff. He stayed in that office longer than any of his predecessors in Wilson County, keeping the peace during the so-called Bandit Wars, investigating numerous violent crimes, and surviving being stabbed on the gallows by the man he was hanging. When demands for Ranger reform peaked, he was appointed as a captain and served for most of the next twenty years, retiring in 1939 after commanding dozens of Rangers.
Wright emerged unscathed from the Canales investigation, enforced Prohibition in South Texas, and policed oil towns in West Texas, as well as tackling many other legal problems. When he retired, he was the only Ranger in service who had worked under seven governors. Wright has also been honored as an inductee into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame at Waco.
Now available for purchase in the Museum Gift Shop or call (877) 750-8631.
Congrats on 25 and 40+ Years!
Working for a museum is a passion. That passion often leads to long-term employment.
Lisa Brooks began her career as a part-time Customer Service Representative in March 1980 working the admissions desk. She promoted to Visitor Services Manager and has been head of both admissions and gift shop for most of her 40+ year career.
Christina Stopka, Assistant Director of TRHFM, celebrates her 25th anniversary this month. She serves as Director of Operations and as Head of the Tobin and Anne Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center.
The three longest serving employees are Lisa Brooks, Visitor Services Manager, 41 years, Byron A. Johnson, Director, 25 years and Christina Stopka, Assistant Director, 25 years.
Lisa Brooks
Christina Stopka
Traveling Texas with Ann Harder
Traveling Texas with Ann Harder takes a look at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum! Ann Harder interviewed Christine Rothenbush, Marketing & Development Specialist, about what are the must-see artifacts and exhibits when visiting. The story aired on 25 News KXXV on November 2nd during the 6 pm news!
Please click here to watch the TRHFM episode of Traveling Texas with Ann Harder.
Traveling Texas with Ann Harder focuses on what makes the Lone Star State such a different place and will give viewers the chance to see and hear those stories all within a tank of gas from Central Texas and the Brazos Valley. The first segment premiered on March 2nd, which also happens to be Texas Independence Day.
TRHFM on the Road
TRHFM staff has been traveling Texas to promote Texas Ranger history to families. Events included the Texas Ranger Weekend at the Alamo in San Antonio on September 4th, Museum Day at the Temple Public Library on September 18th and Waco National Night Out at the Dewey Park Recreation Center on October 5th. We've enjoyed getting to meet Ranger fans of all ages.
Gift Shop Feature: Ranger H. Toad
One of the most famous lizards in Texas meets the well-known Texas Rangers.
11 inch plush
Exclusive to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.
$17.95 + 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 (877) 750- 8631 or email to order. We ship worldwide. Thank you! 
Texas Ranger BicentennialTM Partners Program
Be part of the Texas Ranger Bicentennial! The Texas Rangers will commemorate their landmark 200th anniversary in 2023. With a $100 contribution, you will receive:
  1. A limited-edition enameled bronze pin featuring the official 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 Partners™
  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.
Official Texas Rangers Bicentennial Pin

Trademarked by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety Designed by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
$2.00 OFF
Expires 12/31/2021
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