The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame - State Designated Memorial
State of Texas Seal

Texas 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.

DPS Seal

Capt. W. L. "Will" Wright Photo

Capt. W. L. "Will" Wright
1868-1942

William Lee Wright was born in Lockhart, Texas, February 19, 1868. He was reared in Dewitt County, before moving to Wilson County. At the age of 24, Wright became deputy sheriff of Wilson county until he joined the Rangers. From this point forward Wright served in law enforcement in one capacity or another for the rest of his life.

W. L. Wright joined the Frontier Battalion in 1898 continuing to serve in the State Rangers until 1902. In 1917, after serving for fifteen years as sheriff of Wilson County, he was appointed as Captain of Company "D" Texas Rangers, stationed out of Laredo. He was authorized to recruit sixteen men, purchase a team and wagon, pack mules and camping equipment. Their main duty was patrolling the Mexican border and the brush country of south Texas.

During prohibition Capt. Wright's Rangers were instrumental in capturing bootleggers smuggling tequila into Texas from Mexico. In 1925 Wright retired, but in 1927 he voluntarily returned to service and served as a Captain until his final retirement — at age 71 — in 1939.

In submitting his resignation after 39 years in the Rangers Capt. Wright wrote: "I am proud that I served my beloved state as Captain of the Rangers. I am proud that I have served with some of the best men on the border."

Wright returned to Floresville, Texas where he died on March 7, 1942, at the age of 74.

Capt. W. L. Wright with Company D, Texas Rangers

Suggestions for further reading:

  • Walter Prescott Webb, The Texas Rangers
  • W. W. Sterling, Trails and trials of a Texas Ranger, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968
  • Maude Gilliland, Horsebackers of the Brush Country and Wilson County Texas Rangers, 1837 -1977
  • Vertical files, Texas Ranger Research Center, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco, Texas

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The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
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