Tom Hickman, Texas Ranger

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A good friend of mine grew up seeing a revered old cowboy walk the small downtown area of Gainesville, Texas.  When he asked about the identity of the man, he was told that he was a retired Texas Ranger who had captured some famous outlaws.  My friend eventually learned that the old gentleman was former Texas Ranger Tom Hickman.

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Bigfoot Wallace and the Bandito Vidal

William A. A. “Bigfoot” Wallace lived from 1817-1899 and was a Texas Ranger, one of 30 to be inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. He came to Texas after the death of his brother and a cousin at the hands of the Mexican Army at Goliad in 1836, intending to somehow even the score for his lost relatives. Wallace is believed to have many times exacted his revenge, though he was captured and imprisoned by the Mexican Army himself in the early days of 1843 in the so called “Black Bean Episode,” which he survived. Wallace is mentioned in many other historical accounts as he fought as a Ranger in the Mexican-American War, continued to serve as a Texas Ranger during the 1850s and beyond. He did not serve in the Civil War, electing instead to remain in Texas to guard the borders against Indians, renegades and Union soldiers.  The young State of Texas benefited from an uneasy arrangement with the Confederate Army to allow some Rangers to remain in place to defend the frontier.

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