Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Ranger Hall of Fame
The HALL OF FAME is the State designated memorial of the Texas Ranger service, commemorating the service and sacrifices of 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or made significant contributions to development of the service.
Stephen F. Austin
1793 - 1836
Stephen Fuller Austin,
born in southwestern Virginia, is often called the Father of Texas.
He can also be called the Father of the Texas Rangers as he founded
the earliest precursor of the famous law enforcement organization.
In 1820, during the last year of Spain’s control
of Mexico and Texas, Moses Austin, obtained
a commission as an empresario (a settlement agent) to bring
settlers to Texas. Moses Austin died before he could carry out this
new venture and his son, Stephen F. Austin decided to continue with
plans. He arrived in Texas in August of 1821.
The new government of Mexico was in turmoil and, after canceling and
then reinstating his commission, warned Austin that he must be responsible
for the conduct of his colonists and provide for their defense.
Following clashes with the Karankawa Indians, Austin
formed two companies
. . to act as rangers for the common defense” and paid for
their services himself. The first company was formed in May of 1823
under the command of Moses Morrison and responded to raids along the
Texas coast by Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians.
1823, Austin asked for an additional ten men to supplement the Morrison
two companies are regarded as the predecessors of the modern Texas
In 1835 a council of colonial Texas representatives created
of Rangers” to
protect the frontier, formalizing the militia that Austin created.
Austin commanded troops during
the siege of Bexar in the Texas Revolution (October 1835 - April 1836)
and lived to see the creation of the Republic of Texas. He died of
pneumonia on December 27, 1836, at the age of forty-three.