Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 52
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
52 TEXAS Al.M)
and sometimes uninvited-forces. Following
World War I, use of the Rangers to enforce
liquor prohibition also made the organization
less popular in some quarters.
Following World War I. the Ranger force
was allowed to dwindle and often was tam-
pered with by politics. In 1935, however, the
Rangers were reorgamnized and, with the State
Highway Patrol, were placed under a new
Department of Public Safety. Provision was
made for the adoption of modern methods of
The Texas Rangers today comprise one
division of the State Department of Public
Safety. The Texas Rangers are charged with
the enforcement of laws governing major
crimes, riots and insurrections, while the
Highway Patrol, another division of the de-
partment, has as its primary function the
enforcement of traffic and safety laws.
PERIOD OF EARLY ECONOMIC
The end of Reconstruction brought Texas,
for the first time in its history, to an era
over which no cloud of armed conflict hung.
Throughout the mission and filibustering
eras civilization had clung tenaciously to a
few spots on the Texas soil menaced con-
stantly by the red men and uncertainty as to
white domination. The period of colonization
had hardly gotten under way before it be-
came apparent that a struggle with Mexico
was probable, if not inevitable. The era of
the Republic was darkened by the menace of
reconquest by Mexico, by constant warfare
with the Indians and political instability
within the Republic itself. Annexation to the
United States brought only a new anxiety
that was soon to culminate in the War Be-
tween the States.
Thus, while Texas went back into the
Union and under its Reconstruction period
had sunk to a low ebb politically and eco-
nomically, its people realized that they were
entering upon an era of peace and political
Beginnings of Economic Expansion.
The period extending from the close of
Reconstruction to the beginning of the, Twen-
tieth Century may be likeped to a period of
adolescence. From the beginning of Anglo-
American culture in Texas, the vastness of
the region's natural resources fired the imag-
ination of those who came to settle within its
confines. But the greatest of all resources is
the human resource, population. It is the
vitalizing thing that gives value to rich soils,
abundance of water, forests, grasslands and
minerals. A relatively few natural resources
are sufficiently valuable per unit of weight
to have value in faraway markets. Many re-
sources, such as soils and climate, cannot be
removed. In large measure Texas' known ma-
terial resources of that day were of the kind
that had to await the coming of a population
-soils, favorable meteorological conditions,
livestock ranges and minerals. Texas cotton
has commanded a world-wide market, but
the soil that produces it had to await the
coming of a population to till the land. In
later years, oil, gas and sulphur have found
wide markets, but these deeply hidden re-
sources were not destined to great develop-
ment in the early chapter of Texas' growth.
Population and Transportation.
Texas' first need was population. Secondly,
Texas needed means of transportation. As
among the states, the economic development
of Texas has been unique-paralleled only by
the development of the Pacific Coast states.
Texas, instead of being overrun by the west-
ward tide of population that spread from
east to west, began as an isolated nucleus
centering around Austin's colony.
The beginning of Texas. it will be remem-
bered, was a Latin-American experiment in
a wilderness that lay between Angle-America
and Latin America. For many years after
removing the political barriers that lay be-
tween Texas and the United States, first by
revolt against Mexico and later by annexa-
tion, this state was relatively isolated by the
barrier of the Mississippi Valley, which re-
tarded railroad building. Texas had its appre-
ciable mileage of rail lines before a connect-
ing link with the rail lines in the United
States was built in 1873.
It was in the period, extending approxi-
mately from the close of the E. J. Davis
administration to the beginning of the twen-
tieth century, that Texas got its basic growth
in population and transportation. This is not
saying that the last three decades of the last
century were the periods of greatest growth
of population, but it was the earlier period
that gave the state population and transpor-
tation sufficient for a basis for utilization of
its more readily available resources-soils,
climate, water, forests and easily accessible
When Governor Coke resigned to take his
seat in the United States Senate. he was
succeeded by Richard B. Hubbard (Dec 1,
1876, to Jan. 21, 1879) by virtue of his posi-
tion as Lieutenant ,Governor. Strengthened
border defense, reorganization of the penal
system, suppression of land frauds and fur-
ther reduction of the state debt were achieve-
ments of Hubbard's administration
State's Debt Reduced.
The administration of Oran M. Roberts
(Jan. 21, 1879, to Jan. 16, 1883) has gone
down in history for the pay-as-you-go policy
by which a deficit was wiped out. public debt
lowered and taxes reduced. The two terms of
Roberts were marked also for educational
legislation. 'An act was passed, providing for
a University of Texas in compliance with con-
stitutional mandate, and the Sam Houston
and Prairie View Normal Schools, for white
and Negro students, respectively, were estab-
The administration of Gov. John Ireland
covered the two terms (Jan. 16, 1883. to Jan.
18, 1887), and was characterized by continued
improvement of the educational system. In
1883 the University of Texas was opened at
It was during this administration that the
fence-cutting in West Texas reached its clih-
max. Barbed wire, which had been invented
in 1873, came into use in Texas about 1879
and became general throughout the range
area by 1883. Strife arose between cattlemen
who owned their acreage and those who con-
tinued to depend on the open range. There
was conflict also between the fencing rancher
and the farmer. Fence-cutting became gen-
eral. Millions of dollars of damage was done.
In. some counties feeling ran so high there
was threat of civil warfare. A special session
of Legislature, called by Governor Ireland in
1884, enacted a law making fence-cutting a
felony but requiring that gates be placed
every three miles and making it a felony to
fence unowned land. This act, together with
the efforts of the Rangers and local officers,
ended the strife.
While the fencing of the range had its dis-
turbing effects, it stabilized the cattle indus-
try and effected many good results. Cattle
improvement through breeding became pos-
sible. Ranch improvement became practica-
ble. The fencing of the range intensified the
search for water and aided in the introduc-
tion of the windmill which, like barbed wire,
has been among the important factors in
Texas economic development.
Rise of Populist Party.
The first disturbance in Texas' political
economy, as the result of a growing indus-
trialization of the United States, was e\i-
denced in the passing of Texas' first anti-
trust and antimonopoly laws during the ad-
ministration of Gov. L. S. Ross (Jan. iS,
1887, to Jan. 20, 1891), who succeeded Gov-
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/54/: accessed March 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.