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    [Texas Rangers]. Captain William W. Sterling Correspondence with Boot Maker Joseph Zihlman with Diagram of His Foot. Sometime around 1930, Texas State Adjutant General William Warren Sterling sent an order for a pair of cowboy boots to El Paso boot maker, Joseph Zihlman. On the verso of a 16.5" x 6.25" order form, Sterling has traced the outline of his left foot, with relevant measurements including the height of the leg, heel, high and low instep, and ball of the foot, for a pair of handmade "Johnnie Mullins Special" boots. Having received the boots, he found that the boots did not fit correctly. Thus began a correspondence with Zihlman over payment.

    In response to a letter from Zihlman, Sterling wrote, July 21, 1931, that he was "very much disappointed in these boots because they did not fit me in the instep. . . . if you will put a foot on them that I can wear . . . I will immediately send you a check for the boots." In response, Zihlman sent a letter to Sterling, dated July 27 (but not included here), to which Sterling sent a second letter, dated July 30: "I tried to make it clear in the first letter that these boots did not fit me, but you evidently do not understand English as I use it . . . I expect to be in El Paso . . . and will bring them to you." Zihlman replied again, August 15, stating that he understands English perfectly well and is perplexed by Sterling's attitude regarding the bill. "When you receive this," he writes, "I shall expect you to mail check to me at once for $38.00 in payment of your account." Sterling wrote back to Zihlman in an undated letter that he "did not take your boots to New York. . . . I have not gotten $5.00 worth of use out of them. However, when you make up your mind to the above facts I will send your check for $38.00 as I want to end the matter." In a final response (at least of the letters contained in this lot), Zihlman wrote on September 12 that he may have mistaken Sterling in his last letter and "If so, I am sorry that I wrote as I did. Under the circumstances, Captain, I feel that I am entitled to pay for the boots, and shall appreciate it if you will kindly mail me check at once."

    William W. Sterling (1891-1960) worked as a scout for the Third U.S. Cavalry during the later years of the Mexican Revolution and served as a first lieutenant in the 9th Texas Infantry during the First World War. He began his career in law enforcement as a Webb County deputy sheriff after the war. He joined the Texas Rangers and, in 1927, he was appointed captain of Company "D." He was appointed Texas adjutant general during the Ross administration and served in that post until 1933, simultaneously resigning from the Rangers.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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