Shooting starts bloody feud between ranchers and rangers

May 16th, 1902

On this day in 1902, Texas Ranger Anderson Yancey Baker killed suspected cattle rustler Ramón de la Cerda, thus touching off a feud that cost the lives of several more men. Ramón, his brother Alfredo, and their father owned the Francisco de Asís Ranch, which bordered the famous King Ranch. Their father was killed in 1900 by a Brownsville policeman. In 1901 the brothers were arrested and charged with rustling cattle from the King Ranch and changing the King brand from "W" to "Bar-W." In May 1902 Ramón was in the process of branding cattle on King's El Sauz pasture when Baker killed him in an exchange of gunfire. The incident provoked newspaper charges of abuse on the part of the rangers, and led to a series of gunfights that left one ranger and two Mexican Americans dead and one ranger wounded. In the final episode of the feud ranger Baker was acquitted of the murder of the Cerda brothers in 1903. He went on to become the political boss of Hidalgo County.

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Shooting starts bloody feud between ranchers and rangers

May 16th, 1902

On this day in 1902, Texas Ranger Anderson Yancey Baker killed suspected cattle rustler Ramón de la Cerda, thus touching off a feud that cost the lives of several more men. Ramón, his brother Alfredo, and their father owned the Francisco de Asís Ranch, which bordered the famous King Ranch. Their father was killed in 1900 by a Brownsville policeman. In 1901 the brothers were arrested and charged with rustling cattle from the King Ranch and changing the King brand from "W" to "Bar-W." In May 1902 Ramón was in the process of branding cattle on King's El Sauz pasture when Baker killed him in an exchange of gunfire. The incident provoked newspaper charges of abuse on the part of the rangers, and led to a series of gunfights that left one ranger and two Mexican Americans dead and one ranger wounded. In the final episode of the feud ranger Baker was acquitted of the murder of the Cerda brothers in 1903. He went on to become the political boss of Hidalgo County.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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