Capt. John Hughes-Texas Ranger - El Paso, Texas
Capitan John Hughes - Guardabosques de Texas - El Paso, Texas

Capt. John Hughes-Texas Ranger - El Paso, Texas

In 1886 several horses were stolen from his and neighboring ranches. Hughes trailed the men for several months, killing some of them and capturing the rest. He returned the stolen horses to their owners. His feat gained the attention of not only the outlaws but also the Texas Rangers. In July 1887, Hughes helped Texas Ranger Ira Aten track down and kill escaped murderer Judd Roberts. In August 1887, Hughes was persuaded to join the Texas Rangers. He had risen to the rank of sergeant in Company D Frontier Battalion by 1893. When their Captain, Frank Jones, was killed in June 1893, Hughes was promoted to captain of Company D. For most of his career, Hughes served along the border of southwest Texas. In 1901, when the Frontier Battalion was abolished and the State Rangers created, John Hughes was selected as one of the four Captains of the new companies. He served until his retirement in 1915. During the 28 years he was a Ranger, Hughes dealt with a wide variety of cases including thefts at the Shafter silver mines, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, murders and even the Maher-Fitzsimmons prize fight. He was known as "the border boss." John Hughes never married. He spent his retirement years prospecting and traveling by automobile. He was also involved in the banking industry, becoming chairman of the board and largest stockholder of the Citizens Industrial Bank of Austin, but he continued to live in El Paso. In 1940 John R. Hughes received the Certificate of Valor, an award commemorating the the bravery of peace officers. He moved to Austin to live with a niece, and on 3 June 1947, after living through the end of the frontier and two world wars he committed suicide at the age of 92. He was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.

Area: Central / Downtown

Source: El Paso County Historical Society

Reference ID: 013-1983-148

Uploaded by: El Paso Museum of History

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