CRUGER, WILLIAM R.
CRUGER, WILLIAM R. (1840–1882). William R. Cruger, frontier sheriff, the sonof Nicholas and Elizabeth (Robert) Cruger, was born on May 30, 1840, at Albany, Georgia. He moved to Shackelford County, Texas, in 1874, assisted in the county's organization, and named the county seat Albany for his birthplace. Fort Griffin was then a thriving town and had become a rendezvous for outlaws, thieves, and other desperate characters. In 1876 John M. Larn was elected sheriff and appointed Cruger deputy sheriff. Early in 1877, in an attempt to restore order in a Fort Griffin saloon, Cruger participated in a gunfight in which three men were killed and he and the county attorney were wounded. Larn resigned, and Cruger was appointed his successor on April 20, 1877. His jurisdiction over thirteen unorganized Texas counties extended to the New Mexico line. Acting on a warrant from the Albany court, Cruger arrested Larn, who on the night of his arrest, June 23, 1878, was shot and killed in an Albany jail, presumably by members of the Fort Griffin Vigilance Committee. This was the last vigilante killing in the county. Cruger was reelected sheriff and served until his resignation on July 20, 1880, when the commissioners' court passed a resolution attesting to his courage and fearlessness as a law officer and declaring that the thanks of the citizens of the western frontier were due him for ridding the frontier of lawless characters. Cruger was married to Mary R. Boynton; they had one child. On May 29, 1882, while serving as city marshal of Princeton, Tennessee, Cruger was shot and killed by a drunken prisoner whom he had failed to search. He was buried in Albany, Georgia.
Dallas Herald, January 27, 1977. J. R. Webb, "Henry Herron, Pioneer and Peace Officer during Fort Griffin Days," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 20 (1944).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, J. R. Webb, "CRUGER, WILLIAM R.," accessed February 29, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcr39.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 2, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.