A large crowd of descendants of Texas Ranger Major James M Hunter attended the Texas Ranger Memorial Cross Ceremony honoring him on Saturday, November 16 at the Crosby Cemetery. The Mason County Historical Commission arranged the ceremony and Mason resident Sue Pledger, a great-great granddaughter of Maj. Hunter, contacted family members from around the state.
Also attending were three retired Texas Rangers: Capt. Carl Weathers who gave the Former Texas Ranger Address; Ranger Jack Morton who oversaw the unveiling of the cross, and Ranger Ralph Wadsworth who gave the life story of James M. Hunter. Mr. Hunter’s obituary was given by his descendant Walker “Buddy” Jordan. Sue Pledger arranged a barbecue lunch at the Eckert Center following the ceremony. Also attending were Mason County Sheriff Buster Nixon and active Texas Ranger (whose area includes Mason County) Joel Timms of Brady.
Hunter first came to Texas in 1851. He spent several years in different areas of Texas surveying and was in charge of the mail route from San Antonio to Santa Fe and also surveyed in New Mexico. He returned to Texas (Fredericksburg) in 1858. In 1860 he married Philippine Keller and they had eleven children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. In 1862 he joined Captain Henry Davis’ Company of Texas Rangers and was soon placed in command of the company. The family moved to Mason County in 1869 and owned the Southern Hotel. From 1870-1871 he was once more in command of the Rangers serving as Captain of Company I Frontier Forces. He mustered out at Ft. Mason. He served as Judge and County Surveyor while living in Mason County and in 1876 represented several counties in the Legislature. In 1883 the family moved to Edwards County where he served as a judge for twelve years. Sometime after 1900 the family moved back to Mason. James Hunter passed away on August 31, 1907 and was buried in the Crosby Cemetery next to his two infant daughters.
The memorial crosses for Texas Rangers are furnished through the Former Texas Rangers Association by a grant provided by the Texas Historical Foundation and the generous donations of Texas Ranger descendents.