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.
Capt. W. L. "Will" Wright
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.
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