John Reynolds Hughes

John Reynolds Hughes

Henry County, Illinois, USA
Death 3 Jun 1947 (aged 92)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Plot Republic Hill Section 2 Row S Plot 15
Memorial ID 18038 · View Source
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Texas Ranger, inspiration for The Lone Ranger. John Hughes was born on February 11, 1855 in Henry County, Illinois; he was only able to attend school on rare occasions since he was kept busy working the family farm. In 1869, he left the farm to work on a cattle ranch, but left soon after and headed out to Indian Territory where he would live with the Choctaw, Osage and Comanches as a respected trader near Ft Sill, Oklahoma. In 1880 he left the area and moved to Liberty Hill, Texas where he ran his own property. Six years later, he was able to use the skills he learned as a trapper to track several men who had stolen horses from him and his neighbors, following them as far as New Mexico. Finding them after months of searching, he was able to kill several of the thieves, some of whom were loose members of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. After he returned the stolen horses to his neighbors, word of his adventure reached the Texas Rangers and he was sworn in on August 10, 1887. Assigned to Camp Wood in Company D, Frontier Battalion, he spent his time patrolling the Texas-Mexico border watching for smugglers and outlaws trying to flee the country. When his unit was abolished in 1900, he was made captain of Company D, then senior captain, working out of the Ranger headquarters in Austin. Around this time, the Western novelist Zane Grey heard of his exploits in the Rangers and started to ride with him, listening to his stories of gunfights and trail drives, eventually writing the book "The Lone Star Ranger" in 1914, dedicating the book to Hughes and his fellow lawmen. The title character was the model for the later cultural icon The Lone Ranger, and was based almost entirely on Hughes' exploits; it can be argued that John Hughes was the Lone Ranger. By 1915, he had served as a Texas Ranger for twenty-eight years, longer than any other man, and on January 31, retired from service. He enjoyed spending his later years as a casual prospector and driving his new automobile around his homestead property in El Paso. In 1940 he became the first recipient of the Certificate of Valor, awarded to him for his excellent lifetime service as a peace officer. Growing weaker with age, forced to live with family in Austin, John Hughes took his own life on June 3, 1947 at the age of ninety-two.

Bio by: Screwtape

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18038
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Reynolds Hughes (11 Feb 1855–3 Jun 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18038, citing Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .