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Iconic Texas Ranger’s Estate Being Auctioned Off

History buffs in West Texas have a unique chance to get their hands on the possessions of an iconic Texas lawman this weekend.


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Cover of Joaquin Jackson's memoir, One Ranger
University of Texas Press
Cover of Joaquin Jackson’s memoir, One Ranger

Joaquin Jackson died at the age of 80 this summer – after a storied career in the Texas Rangers that earned him a Texas Monthly cover in the mid-90's.

His life was an almost-mythic representation of the Texas lawman – chasing down horse thieves, policing the borderlands against drug smugglers.

But he also expressed some dismay at the hiring of the first women Texas Rangers toward the end of his career.

In 2008 – he talked to Marfa Public Radio about his philosophy of being a Ranger:

"Politics and law enforcement don't mix. Even though you have to have the politician to get up and get money, get appropriations for you to function…you still don't have to eat out of their hands. If you play politics then you can't be fair, then you can't be fair to each individual. You gotta treat the poor man the same as you treat the rich man."

Jackson's personal collection of cowboy boots, hats, guns and police badges are being auctioned off.

Also up for grabs are various historic items he owned like a poll tax receipt from 1921, signed by E.E. Townsend, a onetime Texas Ranger and Brewster County Sheriff who became known as the "father of Big Bend National Park" after paving the way for the park's creation.

The collection also includes rare bank notes and pictures from the early 20th century – and even a Texas flag that flew over the Alamo.