Texas Ranger "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas
Kilgore, TX
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Many of the photos and the quotes are courtesy of "Lone Wolf " Gonzaullas, Texas Ranger by Brownson Malsch. This excellant book will be interesting to anyone who wants to know more about the Texas Rangers, especially one of the most famous in the Twentieth century.

Kilgore, Texas, 1931. You walk down the wooden sidewalk in the crisp, muggy air of an East Texas spring. The town is crowded with all manner of people, mostly oil field workers. The smell and taste of oil is thick in the air as a breeze blows amid the buildings. The clanging and noise of oil field equipment is heard twenty four hours a day.

Women and children occasionaly thread their way through the crowds, trying not to be jostled into the street. The recent rains have left the dirt streets a quagmire of mud as oil field trucks and vehicles of all types try to make their way down the narrow roads. A large truck loaded with equipment grinds it's way through the slime, slinging mud into the air as it's large tires dig into the brown mud. A car struggles to make headway, horns honk as others try to get by. Some of the heaviest trucks are stuck and men curse and holler at each other as they try to clear the streets.

You pass by professional men in suits and workers in pants and shirts; some still grimmy from their hard work on the oil rigs. The stores along the streets are busy as people go in and out their doors, trying to carry on their routines amid the bustling town.

There seems to be a crowd gathering at the end of one of the side streets in front of one of the new wooden buildings. You stop and look in the direction of the noise and see some shady looking men seemingly arguing with each other. The curses echo down the street. Someone passing by glances in that direction and murmers, "More drunks or dope peddlers. Uh oh, they're in for it now." The stranger stops and stares at two men walking facing you on the opposite side of the street.

You turn your head in the direction the stranger is staring at. Then you see him. Coming down the street is a neatly dressed man in a flat brimmed Stetson hat. His shirt is olive drab with a snug collar pinned beneath an excellant cravet with a long bar-pin. Around his waist, on a heavy belt held by an enormous emblem-buckle of gold and silver, hang a pair of engraved Colt automatics. His boots are shiny and clean, his jaw set and his gaze steely eyed. On his chest you can make out the distinctive badge of the Texas Rangers. His fellow Ranger walks beside him and passersby make way for them as they head in the direction of the disturbance down the street. Lone Wolf Gonzaullas is in town and those criminals who haven't already left after his warning will be dealt with swiftly.

After his arrival, he had said in a public statement, "Crime may expect no quarter in Kilgore. Gambling houses, slot machines, whiskey rings and dope peddlers might as well save the trouble of opening, because they will not be tolerated in any degree. Drifters and transients have their choice of three things: engaging in a legitimate business, getting out of town or going to jail!"

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Texas Rangers at Shafter Mines, Presidio County, El Paso district, in 1890. Left to right, standing: Bob Speaker and Jim Putnam. Left to right, seated: Lon Odem and John R. Hughes, who held the rank of sergeant at the time. (Courtesy Texas Department of Public Safety.)

The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement body with state wide jurisdiction in the United States, having been formed in 1823. Stepen F. Austin hired the first ten Rangers that year to protect the settlers in his colony. Fighting Indians, Mexican bandits along the border and outlaws, the Texas Rangers have grown and matured into the elite investigative branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety. With decades of experienced, hand picked law officers and state of the art equipment and crime lab, the Rangers investigate the most difficult crime cases and work with local authorities to keep law and order wherever needed. When a Texas Ranger appears on the scene, it is known that law enforcement is at it's finest. More Texas Ranger websites are below. (Don't miss what we have on this website and the second page about "Lone Wolf", though.)

 

 

 

 

 

Manual "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas was known as "El Lobo Solo" or "Lone Wolf" for his ability to get in and out of scrapes by himself. He was a man of honesty and integrity, a crusader who fought to eleminate or put behind bars smugglars, bootleggers, thieves and murderers whereever he was assigned in Texas. His intense hatred of outlaws stemmed from a personal tragedy at the age of fifteen. He helplessly witnessed the murder of his only two brothers and the wounding of his parents in a bandit raid on their border home.

He was an intensely religious man; active in his church and the owner of several Bibles. He was a keen student of the Bible and later in life carried a copy of the New Testament in his pocket and copies in his car. He handed these out to errant men whom he thought might be remolded into useful citizens. He had certain passages on sinning and forgiveness underlined.

He was poison to criminals and survived innumerable gunfights. This was the era of prohibition and ruthless outlaws such as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow; "Bonnie and Clyde". Gonzaullas' utter fearlessness and his deadly accuracy with pistols and rifles are credited with allowing him to survive. Gonzaullas himself said, "It was more than that, much, much more. Sure, some luck was involved, but you can't make it just on luck at all times. The good Lord has to have His arm around you and has to help you in a situation like that. You can't count on judgement or luck alone. I know that He had His arm around me many, many times."

His demeanor was that of a gentleman and he was courteous to men and women alike, except when it came to criminals. He was 5 feet 10&1/2 inches tall and about 170 pounds, broad shouldered with a steely gaze that disconcerted many a man with something to hide. The appearance of his well fittng western clothes and custom made boots, polished to mirror brightness, made him stand out as a man of obvious quality and good breeding.

His regular working pistols had the trigger cut away and made with safety catches on each side of the hammer. The spring holsters were cut deep so the trigger itself was exposed. On numerous occasions, he got in the first shot, being quick on the draw. He was credited with killing as many as seventy-five men in his career. He said that was a gross exaggeration but would not divulge how many men fell before his deadly fire. He was not a man giving to bragging or boasting.

When he retired, he had a collection of 580 guns plus knives, clubs and other weapons. Many stories went untold as to the criminals he had acquired them from. He simply said "Some have real stories behind them, but it's hobody's business where they came from." Gold and silver embellished guns with diamonds were gifts from admirers. Some of these were used to shoot an untold number of outlaws. A code was engraved on some of them which was: "Never Draw Me Without Cause or Sheath Me With Dishonor." A Colt .45 was inscribed, "God Created All Men Equal. Col. Colt Made Them All the Same Size." (More stories and photos are on the second page.)

 

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Ranger Frontier Gun and Belt
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Ornamental Colt .45 revolvers. Famous Texas cattle brands, the seal of the State of Texas, and a miniature Texas Ranger captain badge appear on the grips. The five-pointed gold badge on the leather case has a diamond mounted in the center. (Courtesy Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.)
Pair of Gonzaullas' Colt revolvers decorated with Indian symbols and semiprecious stones. (Courtesy Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.)
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Gonzaullas stands beside his brand new 1932 Chrylser coupe. It had bullet proof glass and a swivel mounted machine gun in front of the passenger seat. It was used as his scout car. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas, Texas Ranger by Brownson Malsch
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Some of "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas' personal collection of guns. On both the automatics and revolvers, which were embellished with elaborate gold engraving, the trigger guards were cut away to provide ready access. The guns that he used regularly in his field work were modified in this way, but other pistols were not. (Courtesy Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.)
Kilgore, Texas
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Lincoln Travels
"Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas Page Two True Law Enforcement Stories and Gun Collection
"Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas - Ranger Hall of Fame
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Other Texas Ranger Websites
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
Texas Ranger History at the Texas Department of Public Safety
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Texas Ranger History at the Lone Star Junction Texas Ranger History at the Texas State Historical Association.
Copyright © 2003 SRC Distributing Company. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed.