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74 CAPTAIN ROGERS SURVEYED THE RANGER camp with a jaundiced eye at the pitiful supplies that lay in front of him. He made several notes that he would later record in his first monthly file as a Ranger commander. “Thirteen men,” he wrote in the upper right hand corner of the oversized page, “twelve horses, four mules, and seven worthless tents.” He wrote the same equipment notation every month for seven months until he at least had the small satisfaction of recording in August that “two of the tents were blown to pieces and gone.” In October he noted that grass was scarce and that he had been forced to procure hay and grain from local Alice merchants. By November he had been amply re-supplied, the adjutant general’s office finally acknowledging his appeal.1 Compared to the previous years, 1893 through 1895 were remarkably peaceful for Company E and its new captain. With Cotulla more or less “cleaned up,” the work out of Alice seemed as routine as that could be understood in the life of frontier law enforcement. With his work now increasingly administrative in nature, Rogers seldom found himself in the field. In 1893 he only recorded three arrests made by him personally: a horse thief in the county in May, another in July, and yet a third in November. The last of the trio, Mariano Benavides, CHAPTER 6 The El Paso Prizefight The El Paso Prizefight 75 ★ had been wanted out of Bexar County and Rogers returned him there on November 9.2 Tragically out of character for these Alice days, the mysterious disappearance of Private J. W. Woods caused great concern for the entire company. Cattle thieves in Menard County had created such a disturbance that the sheriff finally asked for help. Private Woods arrived there in June to work undercover. He went to work at a local ranch hoping to unveil the operations of the rustlers. Instead, he may have been found out himself, for in July he simply vanished. His body was never found and no arrests were ever made relative to his presumed murder.3 The men of Company E noted arrests in Kimble, Starr, and La Salle counties as well as several closer to home. Rogers’ brother-inlaw Will Burwell joined up on June 1, adding more of a family flavor to the company with Tupper Harris and Kid Rogers along as well. Adding family was quite clearly the highlight of Rogers’ days in Alice. Lucile was born in the Alice Ranger camp on August 31, 1893, and John and Hattie’s second child and first son, Pleasant Blair, was born twenty-seven months later. Pleas was named after his two grandfathers . Captain Rogers became a dutiful father, leaving the child raising to Hattie but spending as much time as possible with the children as they grew up.4 The year 1894 picked up the pace a bit for Company E. Captain Rogers traveled south into Starr County on a number of occasions, making arrests in February, March, and April of men wanted for murder, including brothers Ben and Bill Bennett. In July Rogers recorded personal arrests in Bexar County and even up in Travis County. In the fall he was back in the Alice area. Tom Goff joined up in December of 1893 as the company fluctuated in size between twelve and fifteen over the following months, and for the first time the annotation of “special rangers” appears in the official files. Men appointed out of the governor’s office to supplement the Rangers force often brought more trouble than help, since some were appointees satisfying a political favor, while others seemed to be no more than hired guns who brought little character with them. The last arrest noted for the year 1894 is dated December 30, the Chapter Six 76 ★ captain noting that “C. L. [Kid] Rogers arrested a sheep thief and put him in the Alice calaboose.”5 Family occasions made their way into John and Hattie’s life as well. On May 1, 1894, the families joined to celebrate Kid’s marriage to Bettie DeHand Chessher of Guadalupe County. Curren and Bettie celebrated the birth of three children over the next seven years: Margie Lee in 1895; Curren Randolph, a second daughter, in 1896; and Emrett Benton born in 1901. John and Hattie returned to the old home grounds in late March, 1895, to attend the funeral of John’s great uncle John Harris, one of...


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