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Private T. E. P. Texas Rangers, Texas

Private

T. E. P. "Ellzey" Perkins

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch: Thursday, November 7, 1918

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 2 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Assault

Weapon: Blunt object

Offender: Escaped into Mexico

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T. E. P. (Ellzey) Perkins joined Company L of the Texas Rangers stationed in El Paso County on September 1, 1918. His brother, James Clarke Perkins, had joined the rangers on August 25, 1917, and was the company sergeant. The rangers were investigating Ben Anaya, a rancher on the island near Fabens in El Paso County, whom they believed was a supporter of Pancho Villa, and was assisting Villistas in getting arms and ammunition across the border. The Island, where Captain Frank Jones was killed battling bandits on June 20, 1893, is on the international boundary through the island.

On Thursday night, November 7, 1918, Ranger Private Perkins and Special Ranger Joe T. Place, a farmer from Fabens, left the ranger camp at Clint and drove to within a mile of the Anaya Ranch. Place would later state that the rangers ran out of water and were getting water and repairing a hose when ambushed. It is believed they wanted to see if any activity was occurring at the ranch. Place’s report claims Perkins spotted riflemen in the brush and called to Place to take cover. The riflemen opened fire. Ben Anaya approached the car with his pistol drawn, but Perkins fired first and killed him with three slugs in the chest. Almost immediately, Perkins was hit in the stomach. With only his pistol and two bullets he wandered off into the darkness. Place was captured, placed on a horse, and rode back to Fabens for assistance, arriving about 8:30 p.m.

A posse found Perkins the next day near the ranch. He had been clubbed to death and mutilated. Anaya’s father was reported to have tracked Perkins and beat him to death. The elder Anaya fled to Mexico. Captain Davis offered Mexican river guards a $100 reward for his capture and return, but Anaya was never prosecuted. Ranger service records report that Perkins was killed in service and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum report his death as line of duty.

Sergeant J. C. Perkins returned with the body to Cameron, Milam County. Perkins was buried in the North Elm Cemetery in Milam County near the Yarrellton community where he was raised. He was survived by his brother, two sisters, and parents. He had been a Texas Ranger for 2 months and 6 days when he was killed.

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RIP Private Perkins. 95 years ago today you gave your life upholding the laws of Texas and the United States. Thank you for your service.

Anonymous
November 7, 2013

 

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