Ranger force kept busy in Duval County

This is not Company C, but they depict the Texas Rangers from this time period.

In 1887, the area around Duval County was still a frontier region and the governor sent Company C of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers to the new town of Collins to keep watch. In October, Sgt. Grimes and three men went to Duval County to look for suspected horse thieves but they returned in three days empty-handed.

Two days later, however, Private Durbin and three others went to Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Duval Counties and arrested Donacio Ochoa, Augustine Felipe and Amando Oyos. Sgt. Grimes took four other Rangers to Concepcion on the following day looking for smugglers and horse thieves, and they arrested Baltasar Rito for horse theft; Nicolas Sanchez and Andres Delgado for smuggling; and Hilario Cruz for carrying a pistol. The Rangers took the suspects to the “civil authorities,” presumably the Duval County Sheriff.

Texas Ranger badge.

Texas Ranger badge.

Pvt. McNamara meanwhile was on special assignment in Duval County for 10 days before returning to the Ranger headquarters in Collins, apparently without any arrests. Privates King and Parker followed McNamara to Duval County in search of cattle thieves but also returned without success. Private Sanders and two men then went to scout in Duval County for “Mexican bandits.” They too returned without success.

Towards the end of the month, Sgt. Grimes and one other Ranger returned to Benavides and arrested Juan Garcia and Trusdosio Bustos for smuggling and selling mescal. The Rangers took the suspects to the Nueces County jail. Rangers also detained Pedro Galvan on unspecified charges and turned him to civil authorities. This concluded a busy October for the Rangers.

Two weeks later, the Rangers were out on the frontier again, and Private McNamara arrested George Villalobos, also known as Lopez and Flores, for mail robbery and kidnapping. McNamara took Villalobos to the Corpus Christi jail.

The Rangers were not the only law enforcement officials busy. Duval County Sheriff Wright executed a judgment won by R. H. Corbet over A. L. Labbe for 19 horses, 32 cattle, and 28 bucks. Labbe appealed the judgment. Sheriff Wright carried several carbines, a shotgun, and several pistols as he was on a special mission. The sheriff claimed he did not want to be kidnapped for $4,000 to $5,000.

The Deputy U. S. Marshall carried off seven mescal bootleggers to San Antonio. The Corpus Christi newspaper correspondent suggested the Marshall should pay San Diego and Benavides, especially Benavides, a visit. Even County Judge Luby was out hunting for bad guys. He went to Pena with his gun in tow in search of robbers.

In a not so serious happening, Fermina Serna was tried and convicted in justice of the peace court and fined $2, which she did not pay and was promptly jailed. One judge called the Duval County JP courts “yellow-legged chicken courts.”

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