Company "D"J. Walter Durbin: Iconic Original 1888 Cabinet Photo of Texas Rangers' Famed Company D. 6.5" x 4.25". A group portrait of the Rangers of Company "D" at the height of their notoriety. This was likely Texas Ranger J. Walter Durbin's personal copy (Durbin sits on the front row, fourth from the left) as it has been passed down through his family to a direct descendent. Among the men pictured are Captain Frank Jones, Bass L. Outlaw (who often lived up to his name), Durbin (who would later be elected Frio County Sheriff), William "Tink" Durbin (Walter's brother who later served as a Denton County Sheriff's Deputy), Cal Aten (the younger brother of Ranger Ira Aten), and Frank Schmid (who sustained a fatal gunshot wound the year after posing for this photograph). This photograph was taken in Rio Grande City, Texas, in November 1888. At the time of the portrait, the Frontier Battalion had been reduced to only three companies --"B," "D," and "F" -- to police the entire state with around fifty Rangers; the men of Company "D" were responsible for central and western Texas.
One of the best known images of Rangers of that period, it has been reproduced in many books. However, at the time of the Heritage auction of the John McWilliams Collection, November 21, 2013 (Lot 44195), his was believed to be the only known original, and it sold for $9,375. Since that auction the example offered here has surfaced through a member of the Durbin family. Despite one moderate diagonal crease at upper left-hand corner, it is overall in superior condition to the McWilliams example, as well as enhanced by the period notations on the reverse. The McWilliams example may be viewed in our auction archives at HA.com. Interestingly the present example, while clearly an original print on the same type of mount as the McWilliams copy, lacks the "L.P. Beckham Photographer" back stamp.
Provenance: Durbin family.
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