We feel that this year's Texas Ranger Day falls on a particularly fitting day... St. Patrick's Day. Why, you might ask? Because of the heritage of this man...
Leander Harvey McNelly.
McNelly was born March 12, 1844 to parents Owen and Mary Katherine Killian McNelly in Brooke County, Virginia. Around 1832, Owen and Mary had migrated to Virginia from Newry, County Down, Ireland. In 1859, Leander's older brother Peter J. came to Texas and specifically Washington County to raise sheep. By 1860, McNelly had joined his family in the Burton area. 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. So this year in addition to honoring his connection with the Texas Rangers, we can also honor his Irish heritage! So come join us Sat. March 17th from Noon to 5pm at the Burton Railroad Depot & Museum for a day of food, fun and history.