Private Ernest St. Leon

Private Ernest St. Leon

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, August 31, 1898

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Ernest St. Leon

Private Ernest St. Leon went to the town of Socorro with an attorney from Ysleta to transact some business with the local Justice of the Peace.

The justice asked Private St. Leon to serve warrants of arrest on two men for forcibly removing horses from the city pound. Private St. Leon arrested both men and after hearing that they were recovering their own horses, the matter was settled and the two cowboys left town just before dark. Shortly thereafter St. Leon heard shots being fired. The justice asked Private St. Leon not to pursue the men alone.

Private St. Leon deputized Dr. Oscar J. Breaux and went to arrest the cowboys. Three men riding two horses approached in the dark, and when St. Leon ordered them to surrender, they opened fire. Dr. Breaux was shot in the right ear and died instantly. Private St. Leon was shot in the shoulder with the bullet passing through his chest into his lung. The three men fled and were later arrested by the captain of Texas Rangers - Company D. The third man had been wounded in the thigh by Private St. Leon.

Private St. Leon was transported to Ysleta and then by train to El Paso where he died on Wednesday, August 31st, 1898, after giving a dying statement. The final disposition of the three suspects is unknown but they were charged with both murders.

Private St. Leon had enlisted in the Texas Rangers - Company D in 1890 and had served off and on until his death. His nickname was "Diamond Dick" for the diamond stick pin he always wore on his shirt. He was buried in Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, August 29, 1898
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Charged with murder

shots fired call, warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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Pvt. St. Leon,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas.


United States Border Patrol

August 31, 2023

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