Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is located near Interstate Highway 35 Exit 335B in Waco, Texas.
The mission of the nonprofit Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is to: (1) Disseminate knowledge and inspire appreciation of the history, public service and ideals of the Texas Rangers, a legendary symbol of Texas and America; and (2) Serve as state designated repository for artifacts and archives relating to the Texas Rangers.
In 1964 the Texas Department of Public Safety chartered the City of Waco, Texas, to construct and operate the official museum of the Texas Rangers. In return, the City of Waco agreed to commit 32 acres (130,000 m2) for a building site, provide an ongoing annual operating subsidy, and build and sustain a headquarters for Texas Rangers Company "F". More than three million persons have visited the historical center since it opened in 1968.
The museum complex was originally named Fort Fisher after an 1837 Ranger camp from which the City of Waco traces its origin. It was designed in a vernacular style of Texas hill country architecture reminiscent of a 19th century Texas Ranger headquarters. The first museum gallery was named after Col. Homer Garrison, Jr. who served and later directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and its Texas Rangers division from 1938 to 1968.
In 1971 the Texas Legislature appointed the Texas Ranger Commemorative Commission to honor the 150th anniversary of the Texas Rangers. The Commission was charged with raising funds and erecting the official state Hall of Fame of the Texas Rangers. The project was opened for the American Bicentennial in 1976. Soon afterwards the name of the historical complex was changed to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum to reflect its broader role.
In 1975 the Moody Foundation of Galveston donated seed money to establish the Moody Texas Ranger Memorial Library. Along with the State Library and Archives in Austin, it has become a primary research center on the history and popular culture of the Texas Rangers. In 1997 it was renamed the Texas Ranger Research Center with the permission of the Moody Foundation to recognize its expanding role.
After 30 years of service, the Texas Legislature passed a 1997 resolution designating the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum as the official repository for memorabilia, archives and other materials relating to the Texas Rangers. Texas Ranger artifacts and archives donated to the institution become property of the People of Texas through the trusteeship of the City of Waco.
Erastus "Deaf" Smith
April 19, 1787– November 30, 1837
This portrait of ERASTUS "DEAF" SMITH, for whom our county was named, was painted in 1836 by a well-known artist, Jefferson Wright, commissioned by Sam Houston. The original oil painting hangs in the San Jacinto Museum of History.
Erastus "Deaf" Smith was an American frontiersman noted for his part in the Texas Revolution and the army of the Republic of Texas. He fought at the Grass Fight and the Battle of San Jacinto. After the war, Deaf Smith led a company of Texas Rangers.
Smith was born in Dutchess County, New York. He was the son of Chilab and Mary Smith. In 1798, his family moved to near Natchez, Mississippi, where the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station is currently located. He came to Texas in 1821 for health reasons but returned to Natchez in 1822. His health apparently recovered except for a partial loss of hearing, hence the nickname "Deaf" Smith, pronounced "Deef Smith." Smith, also known as "El Sordo," appeared in many areas of Mexican Texas and was in most significant actions related to development of the region both under Mexico and during evolution of independence.
Texas Revolution hero
Republic of Texas soldier
Elma Usrey (left) and Mildred Reeves (right) remembering their old boyfriend’s car???
Armstrong Browning Library
Discover the love poetry and extensive works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning at the breathtaking Armstrong Browning Library located on the Baylor University campus.
Respected worldwide by scholars as the largest collection of the Brownings' works, the Armstrong Browning Library allows visitors to take a glimpse into the lives of these great British Victorian poets. Inside the library, visitors will see 62 stained glass windows illustrating passages from their poetry. Also on display are the antique bookcases and memorabilia from the Brownings' home.
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve the history of Texas sports for current and future generations.
It is the goal of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame to make our Texas sports legends “come to life.” We are commissioned to preserve our inductees’ fame, records and reputations for present and future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
The museum fulfills its mission by: Recognizing individuals who have made contributions to Texas sports. Creating educational exhibits and programs for the public. Collecting, conserving, researching, and exhibiting objects that have significance to the history of sports in Texas.