Welcome to The
Arizona Territorial Rangers
This Group formed up to help
preserve the history of lawmen of the old west.
Any appearance of "having
fun" while attempting this is "Strictly coincidental".
old west a comment was uttered after a particularly bloody gun battle,
"I guess the
difference between Lawmen and outlaws is really which side of the badge
you're standin' on".
out the other pages for the full story)
Arizona Territorial Rangers
The Arizona Territorial Rangers were first formed up in April 1860 by the
Provisional Governor Dr. Lewis S. Owings with James Henry Tevis as their
first Captain. The first Headquarters was in Pinos Altos. When Arizona
joined the Confederacy, the men that formed the Arizona Rangers joined
the Confederate Army, disbanding the rangers (for the first time).
And so it did as long as they could. Men of Arizona gathered together once
again to take up arms and form an organized group to fight for their land
and provide protection as needed. This ended the second period in the history
of the Arizona Rangers. The final approval to organize a company of Arizona
Rangers arrived in the form of a bill being approved in 1901 by the twenty-first
Arizona Legislative Assembly. The current overnor (Nathan Oakes Murphy)
succeeded in getting funding where the 1860 and 1882 attempts failed.
on March 21, 1901, the legislative act became effective authorizing the
organization of a company of rangers.
was staffed by 14 men;
1 Captain at
$120.00 per month,
1 sergeant at
$75.00 per month
12 privates at
$55.00 each per month.
was commissioned captain of the Arizona Rangers on August 30, 1901 and
selected his headquarters in Bisbee, Arizona.
In March , 1903 revisions were made to the 1901 ranger act. These included
a maximum manpower of 26 men, a lieutenants position and pay increases
across the board. Discontent began to mount over the next few years over
expenses in general and some felt the rangers were no longer needed or
at least not cost effective (hindsight now shows otherwise).
In 1907, two attempts were made in legislature to get rid of the rangers.
1908 showed more attempts and by January 1909, the Anti-ranger attempts
On February 15, 1909, the bill to abolish the Arizona Rangers was approved
and sent to Governor Kibbey, who vetoed the bill and returned it. the assembly
overrode the veto and abolished the organization
Captain Harry C. Wheeler. the LAST (Paid) Arizona Ranger was officially
discharged on 25 March 1909. So ended the Rangers of the Arizona Territory.
Or did it ? A few continued to track down outlaws on the A.T. even though
they were no longer being paid.
Day Az. Rangers
This spirit has been reborn in Arizona by a group of Volunteers called
the Arizona Rangers.
The Arizona Rangers
are a Volunteer Group Dedicated to assisting law enforcement offices throughout
the state and donate generously to some very worthy causes. Please visit
their web site to learn more about this group.
By the 1880's, Arizona was not only having Indian problems, but border
crimes and just plain killings were making Arizona look like a place not
fit to live in.
On March 8,1882 Frederick A. Tritle was installed as the sixth Arizona
territorial Governor. He wasted little time in drafting up two Executive
letters dated April 24, 1882. These letters were addressed to John H. Jackson,
the first authorizing the formation of the 1st Company of Arizona Rangers
making Jackson the Captain and accepting the election of officers and men.
The second Executive letter to Captain Jackson assigned the first official
mission of the rangers, to "scout near the border of the territory for
indians, and those who killed the teamster (name not readable). You will
use your own discretion as to movements until further orders. The Governor
knew at the time he authorized the company of rangers , that funds in the
territory were an issue that he would have to address.
A letter from the Governor to Jackson dated 9 May 1882, states that he
was going to washington, DC to get congress to approve funding needed to
keep the rangers afield.
On May 20, 1882 the Governor wrote his last known letter to Captain Jackson
concerning the Arizona Rangers.
The letter stated:
John H Jackson, Tombstone, A.T.
I have written to several prominent parties who have large interest about
Tombstone to try and get an additional sum of money to pay the expenses
of keeping your force in shape for use. As long as you have enough money
remaining to have watch kept on your horses and equipments I hope you will
do so and I will try every way to get some money if even in small amount."
A P.S. at the end of the letter stated:
"As long as your company exists it will preserve order. Yours
Truly, F.A. TRITLE."
wish them well and wish them a much longer life than their predecessors.)