Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger
(University of North Texas Press, $29.95)
John R. Hughes is often considered one of the Texas Rangers’ “Four Great Captains,” alongside William Jesse McDonald, James A. Brooks and John H. Rogers. (Chuck Norris, as Walker, Texas Ranger, figures nowhere in this equation.)
Before Hughes became a Ranger in 1887, he tracked down and killed several thieves who had stolen horses from his ranch and and some neighbors’ ranches.
This well-written biography by Western historian Chuck Parsons describes how Hughes intended to be a Texas Ranger for just a few months after he signed up. But he stayed on and eventually served almost 30 years, chasing horse thieves, sheep thieves, fence cutters, train robbers, bank robbers and others.
Hughes also helped provide security for three presidents who visited Texas: William H. Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and Porfirio Diaz of Mexico.
The Ranger tried to keep a low profile, but writers hailed him in newspaper and magazine articles, particularly after he retired. And novelist Zane Grey dedicated a novel, The Lone Star Ranger, to Hughes and other Rangers.
Chuck Parsons has written several other books, including The Sutton-Taylor Feud: The Deadliest Blood Feud in Texas.
– Si Dunn