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    Model 1866 Winchester: A Fine Example Belonging to an Identified New Braunfels, Texas, Sheriff. This rifle was owned and used by Hugo Kramer (1851-1916), who lived his entire adult life in New Braunfels. Like many Texans of that era, he was of German descent (indeed, many of the contemporary newspaper mentions of Kramer came from German language papers). By family tradition, in his younger years, he rode with the Texas Rangers, but this is undocumented.

    In 1887, Kramer was an unsuccessful candidate for town marshal, but at various times in his career he served as deputy sheriff or court bailiff. In one 1901 incident, he was involved in an impressive shootout. As reported in the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (translated here): "On the night of March 17th to the morning of March 18th, [town marshal Frank] Nowotny attempted to arrest [George Taff] for disturbing the peace... Taff resisted, and in the struggle that ensued, Taff tried to take away Nowotny's revolver... Taff tore himself loose to run away. Nowotny ordered the N***** to stop and fired a shot as he ran away." The following morning Hugo Kramer accompanied Nowotny to arrest Taff at the tent where he resided. "Nowotny and [Deputy Sheriff] Hugo Kramer led the approach," the newspaper reported. But the man came out shooting, and the officers returned fire. In the firefight Nowotny was seriously wounded, but "the N***** ran back to the tent and then rode away... He was later arrested in Hays County."

    A well-researched dossier on Kramer accompanies this lot. His Winchester remained in the family until 1967, when it was sold by the family of a descendent. A notarized document from that time confirms the gun's provenance. The rifle is a fine example of a Model 1866 Winchester, serial #110134, an unmolested gun with pleasing original patina. Barrel is smooth with even dark color and traces of original blue. Bore good. The butt stock seems to retain the original varnish. There is one hairline crack where it meets the receiver, and scattered old abrasions, probably from being carried on horseback. Old groove marks in the stock appear to have been caused by the rowel on a spur. The rear sight has been replaced with a V-notch. Crisp operating condition. On the left side of the butt stock is a very attractive, richly patinated silver plaque.

    A superior example, which benefits from great Texas provenance.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    10th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,282

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