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Savage Carte de visite of Texas Ranger Walter Durbin

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525.     [TEXAS RANGERS]. [DURBIN, WALTER]. SAVAGE, C.H. (photographer). Carte de visite bust portrait of Texas Ranger Walter Durbin, dressed in coat and cravat, with mustache and close-cut haircut. Albumen print mounted on card with stamped imprint: C.H. Savage | Photographer | 247 Commerce Street, | San Antonio, Texas. [1885]. Verso with various contemporary ink inscriptions: “J.W.D. 1885”; “Pearsall Tex”; “J.W. Durbin”; plus two modern inscriptions. Image: 9.1 x 5.7 cm; card size: 9.5 x 6.4 cm. A few very light stains to image, otherwise fine.

     Photographer Charles H. Savage was active in San Antonio from 1881 to 1889 and is listed at the address shown on the present card in 1885. A copy of the image is published in Robert W. Stephens’ Walter Durbin: Texas Ranger and Sheriff (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1970, facing p. 85). Durbin is documented primarily in Stephens’ book, which is based on Durbin’s reminiscences written in 1914. Stephens states that Durbin (1860-1916) joined the Rangers in 1884 as part of George Schmitt’s company. After various assignments, Schmitt’s Company was disbanded, whereupon Durbin joined Company D commanded by Frank Jones, which also operated in south Texas. When he was sheriff of Frio County, he killed the local newspaper editor in a debt dispute, but was found not guilty after several trials. Falling on hard times, he shuffled among various law enforcement positions before declining health forced his complete retirement.


Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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