Borger Was Once So Lawless, An Elite Texas Ranger Got Called
I love Borger, Texas. It's one of my favorite panhandle towns. The history of Borger is intense, wild, and full of major ups and downs. One of my favorite stories gives Borger an interesting tie to Bonnie and Clyde.
Borger was once so lawless, that an elite Texas Ranger got called to clean house.
Does The Name Frank Hamer Ring A Bell?
I enjoyed the movie, The Highwaymen. Kevin Costner is one of my favorite actors, especially when he isn't in a sports wrapped romance. In that movie he plays legendary Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer.
Frank was good at his job, and has a career full of wild stories. One story takes Frank Hamer to the little panhandle town of Borger, Texas.
Once Upon A Time, In Borger, Texas...
At one point in time, Borger was borderline lawless. At the time, Borger was an oilfield boom town that was quickly working up a reputation; and it wasn't necessarily a good one...as far as polite society is concerned.
One of the issues was the town marshal. He wasn't simply corrupt. He ran a network of stills that supplied saloons with bootleg rotgut whiskey. The saloons stayed open 24 hours a day, according to the stories, and the marshal's stills kept them supplied with booze.
Things finally reaching a tipping point, and a newly elected governor of the state of Texas decided Borger needed a timeout.
Here Comes Frank Hamer
According to legends, Frank Hamer arrived in Borger with one job to do. Investigate the happenings in Borger, Texas. It was Hamer's job to see what was going on, and report back to the governor.
The story goes that it would only take two days for Frank Hamer to make his assessment. Legend has it his report was that Borger, Texas contained the worst criminal ring he had ever seen in his career as an officer.
Go big or go home. That should be the town motto of Borger.
The governor promptly dispatched a handful of Texas Rangers to go clean up the town.
In 1934, Hamer Would Go Down In History
That's the year that Hamer would be called upon to go after Bonnie and Clyde. It took him three months to bring the duo down. By doing so, he etched his place in history.
But before that, he was the man sent to settle Borger down.