Why will we celebrate Texas Ranger Day on March 12?
Because of the man who's photo is posted here.
Leander Harvey McNelly was born March 12, 1844 in Virginia. By 1860, McNelly had joined his family in Burton, Washington County, Texas. McNelly's military career included service in the Civil War, as a captain in the Texas state military police of the Reconstruction-era, and as head of a special force known as the "Washington County Volunteers." McNelly returned to Burton throughout his career and at the end of his life. He is buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery.
In 1983, the Burton Heritage Society began Texas Ranger Day as a way to honor McNelly and the history of the Texas Rangers.
Please forgive the very short summary here-- many, many others have written on his amazing and rather short-lived career (he died at the young age of 33 due to tuberculosis). So please consult their works to read more.
Photo shared with permission of the San Jacinto Museum of History. Leander H. McNelly Papers, MC084, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.