Area law enforcement, historians, Gonzales residents and many more gathered at the Gonzales Memorial Cemetery Thursday, Sept. 28 for a special ceremony to honor a former Texas Ranger who also was a Texas Revolution hero.
Matthew “Old Paint” Caldwell (1798-1842) was honored by the former Texas Rangers Association with a memorial Ranger cross at his graveside. Caldwell also is the namesake for Caldwell County, of which Lockhart is the county seat.
“A pioneer hero, actually known as the Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution, because he rose from Gonzales to Bastrop to call men to run before the Battle of Gonzales in October of 1835.” Gonzales County Judge Pat Davis said.
Davis read a proclamation before the start of the ceremony declaring Sept. 28 as Matthew “Old Paint” Caldwell day in Gonzales County.
The ceremony had many current and former law enforcement in attendance, including Caldwell County Sheriff’s Offfice deputies.
“We have Caldwell County here, and you know that we came from the same mama, because when they divided Gonzales County up because it was so large, part of it became Caldwell County. So we're brothers, sisters, whatever we are, we're close,” Gonzales Jail House Museum Director Sandra Wolff said.
Retired Texas Ranger Joe B. Davis of the Former Texas Rangers Association went over what their organization does.
“Our association is made up of former Rangers and descendants of Rangers. So if your grandfather or someone on the land was a Ranger, and you're eligible to join, we actually were founded as established in 1897, we just celebrated 125 years as an association,” Davis said.
The organization’s mission is to preserve the true history and heritage of the Texas Rangers, Davis said, and he added they have a museum, provide scholarship opportunities and have been doing the cross ceremony for several years now.
“There's a cemetery over in Center Point, Texas, which is located between Kerrville and Bandera, where 32 Rangers are buried; more buried than any other other cemetery and even the state cemetery,” Davis said.
“So our association put up crosses at each grave site and had a big ceremony there. And that's the way it got started. And right now we have done over 800 cross ceremonies throughout the state,” Davis said.
For more information about Former Texas Rangers Association, please got to www.trhc.org.