Modern Texas Rangers
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is proudly sponsored by the City of Waco and sanctioned by the State of Texas and is located on the banks of the Brazos River. We preserve the history of the Texas Rangers, a legendary symbol of Texas and the American West, and inspire admiration for them.
There’s been plenty written about the famed Texas Rangers. Movies have been made, books have been written, stories have been told. Never has there been such a hardy bunch of robust and dedicated lawmakers as the men (and women) who have worn the Texas Star.
They were always known as a tough bunch of lawmen, from the early days right on up to the present. Since their inception in 1823, an estimated 8,000-10,000 Texas Rangers have served the Lone Star State – first the Republic, then the state – the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America. And their stories are many and varied.
Ask just about anybody on the street and they’ll tell you, the best known law enforcement agencies world wide include Scotland Yard, Pinkertons, the Royal Mountain Canadian Police – and leading the pack for most – the famed TEXAS RANGERS.
Why? Perhaps former Ranger Capt. Bob Crowder put it best, “a Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer, or higher authority. This ability must be proven before a man becomes a Ranger.”
One writer said that a Texas Ranger could “ride like a Mexican, trail like an Indian, shoot like a Tennesseean, and fight like the devil.”
Well – whatever you call them, how ever you might describe this bunch of law-loving rough necks of the early West, one thing is for certain: They have worked their way into the history books as one of the best fighting groups and protectors of the law that mankind has ever seen. And their legacy lives on!
The TEXAS RANGER HALL OF FAME in Waco is a monument to these brave men who have given Texas so much of its colorful and robust history. Be prepared to spend at least a day at the museum enjoying the exhibits, the library and the collected history of this profound and historical organization.
The museum was officially created by the Texas Legislature as the official Repository, Library and Archives and duly appointed by the Texas Department of Public Safety – the Mother Organization to which the Rangers belong.
Museum Director Byron Johnston writes:
“…the Texas Ranger is one of the most cherished symbols of the Lone Star State, a positive and enduring icon of Texas and America. Many families take immense pride in having a relative who was, or is, a Texas Ranger. Past and present ranks include Texans of Hispanic, Anglo-European, African, American Indian and Asian ancestry. We who serve at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum find our mission a source of inspiration. It is an opportunity to live daily with what I like to call the Ranger Ideal.”
Ray Coffman, the present-day Rangers Senior Captain, says the Ranger tradition lives on in the 21st Century.
“The modern Texas Rangers are an investigative division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The 116 Rangers authorized by the Texas Legislature are posted across Texas in six companies headquartered in Waco, Houston, Midland, Garland (the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex), Lubbock, and San Antonio with an administrative office in Austin. An Unsolved Crimes Investigative Team is located in San Antonio. They have been called one of the most effective investigative law enforcement agencies in the world.”
The HALL OF FAME memorializes 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or served with great distinction. Inductees are selected by a committee of serving and retired Rangers.
A visit to the Hall of Fame & Museum will give you historical insight into the lives and service of these select men, and will offer information about the Ranger organization and its important role in Texas history. Students will particularly enjoy the many programs offered with them in mind. And parents may enjoy some time in the library and research center where they can discover if some of their own distant relatives were perhaps a member of the elite – Texas Best.
The museum is located at Interstate 35 and University parks Drive in Waco. Hours are:
Monday thru Sunday
Opens 9 am
Last Guest Admitted at 4:30 pm
Closes 5 pm
Research Center (library) Hours Vary
Please Call for an Appointment
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Years Days
Admissions Fees are Adults: $5.00, Children (6-12): $2.50, and children under 6 free