CENTER POINT, Texas – Part of state lore, the Texas Rangers are an elite group that date back to Texas’s fledgling days as independent republic.
"I think the Texas Rangers are right up there with the Alamo as a major Texas icon,” said Mike Cox, author of “Gunfights and sites in Texas Ranger History” and a former spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
They began as a brave group of men whose resume would evolve from combating Native American raids to conducting state investigations.
Which brings us to a small, unassuming cemetery in Center Point; a small town located, aptly, halfway between Comfort and Kerrville.
"There are more Texas Rangers, former Texas Rangers, buried in this cemetery than any place else in Texas,” explained Cox. “That includes the state cemetery in Austin."
George Moore, who passed away in 1886, was the first Ranger buried here. Thirty-nine more, who are known, would follow.
So, it begs the question: Why? Why are there so many Rangers buried in this cemetery?
"No one's ever really figured it out,” said Cox. “The first Ranger grave dates back to 1886. The cemetery dates back to 1872. The best I can tell... it was just a matter of convenience. Several retired Rangers who lived here in this area. It was natural to bury them here."
But, the story does not end there. Because so many Rangers were interred at the Center Point Cemetery, now modern-day rangers are requesting, or have been buried here, along with them, no matter where they are from. So, the number of Rangers at the cemetery will likely grow.
"It’s sort of become the unofficial Arlington of the Texas Rangers,” said Cox.
It is a turn of events that says a lot about this storied arm of Texas law enforcement.
"Rangers are kind of like Marines,” said Cox. “There’s really no such thing as an ex-Texas Ranger. Once a Texas Ranger, always a Texas Ranger.”