An Obituary for a Texas Ranger
This obituary clipping from an unknown newspaper or newsletter, part of the Cook Collection held in the vertical files of the SAGHS library, is the obituary of a man named as a Texas Ranger in the clipping. The obituary reads in part:
James C. Cook…was born in Albama [sic], 1848 his parents moved to San Antonio, Texas when he was ten years old. He went from there to Uvalde, Texas, when a young man.
Here he served faithfully and efficiently as a Texas Ranger for two years…
The obituary tells the reader that James C. Cook moved to Eddy County, New Mexico in 1892 where he practiced farming and working with stock. This clipping neither names the date of death of this man, nor the location of his death. However, those who visit the New Mexico GenWeb Project for Eddy County at http://eddy.nmgenweb.us/1912death2.txt learn that James C. Cook lived at Lakewood, New Mexico (between Carlsbad and Artesia), and that he died on 12 June 1912 at the Sisters Hospital (now St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad).
Was this man a Texas Ranger? The files donated to the SAGHS library and named as the Cook Collection do not provide the evidence that James C. Cook was a Texas Ranger, other than the statement in the obituary. However, those who visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum at http://www.texasranger.org/ReCenter/resource1.htm learn that there were an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Texas Rangers since 1823, and that due to fires, floods and record disposals there are gaps in the records. But clippings such as the one noted here—and other materials in the vertical files of the SAGHS Library—can offer excellent starting points for the researcher.
Newspaper clippings, obituaries, licenses of various types, letters, family stories and photographs can all be found in the vertical files of the SAGHS library. These files have been digitized for viewing on the computers at the library, or the original files can be viewed in the library’s annex. What finds await you when you use the vertical files?