Phares Collection

Phares Family Donation of Artifacts
from Chief Louis Graham Phares
First Texas Department of Public Safety Chief 1935-36

The Phares family of Austin, Texas (L-R: Ann, Christopher and Graham) have donated a significant collection of memorabilia from Lewis Graham Phares. Chief Phares served as first Director the Texas Highway Patrol and first Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and th People of Texas are very grateful to the Phares family for this fascinating collection of great importance to the 20th century history of the Texas Rangers.

Colt Single Action Pistol presented to Chief Phares by the first class to graduate Texas DPS motorcycle training.


Louis Graham Phares 
1880- 1957

Louis G. Phares began his career in law enforcement in 1925 as a Deputy Sheriff in Dallas. He held a a Special Texas Ranger commission from 1929-1931.

Chief Phares gained national renown for his development of the Texas Highway Patrol. In 1935, he was selected to combine the Texas Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers, Crime Lab and other units into the Texas Department of Public Safety. He became the first Director of Texas DPS and served from September 1935 to May 1936.

In May of 1936, Phares stepped down as head of DPS following a series of political disputes with the DPS commissioners. He returned as Chief of the Texas Highway Patrol.

Chief Phares’ work with the Texas Highway Patrol became a model adopted by other State Highway Patrol Agencies. He assisted many other States in reorganizing or establishing their Highway Patrol organization.