Dudley Barker, a Texas Ranger

A special thanks the Round Rock Leader for letting
the Historical Commission post these wonderful articles.

The Time Capsules stories are prepared by Bob Brinkman

Texas Historical Commission


Dudley Barker, a Texas Ranger

Round Rock has a long history of citizens who made names for themselves on the state and national stages. One such man was Dudley Barker, a Texas Ranger born in Round Rock in 1873. Dudley’s parents, E. B. and Mary, had just moved to Round Rock so their seven children to attend school at the noted Greenwood Masonic Institute. School lasted six months, during the off-season for planting and harvesting crops. After attending Round Rock schools Dudley joined the Rangers in 1896, serving three years in Company B under Captain Bill McDonald. He helped end the San Saba Mob War in 1897-98, dispersing the secret vigilante society that cost the lives of 43 men in that county over two years. In San Saba Dudley met and married Lilly Campbell, and the two moved to West Texas. He was sheriff of Pecos County for 24 years, and has been called “the Real Law West of the Pecos”. He amassed a legend as a no-nonsense lawman who shot first (with deadly accuracy) and asked questions later.

The best chronicling of Dud Barker’s career comes from Olan George’s book, Roundup of Memories.

After his term as sheriff, Barker became a rancher in Sanderson and Alpine. In 1928, at age 55, Dudley enlisted again as a Special Ranger to assist the local cattlemen, serving without compensation until 1933. His 32 years in law enforcement helped to civilize the state.

Round Rock was the home for several Texas Rangers, including the Snyder brothers, who later became cattlemen in Wyoming; and the Aten boys: Ira, who was later sheriff in Fort Bend and Castro counties and foreman on the XIT Ranch, and Cal, who patrolled the Texas-Mexico border for many years. Dudley Barker’s boyhood home on Ledbetter Street in Old Round Rock now boasts an official state historical marker and status as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.