Description[Texas Rangers]. J. Walter Durbin and Ira Aten Tintype Photograph. Measuring 2.25" x 3.5", Durbin and Aten, both of whom were members of the famed Company "D," Frontier Battalion, are featured in this full length studio portrait. Durbin sits with his legs crossed, his left hand grasping his coat. Behind him and to his left, Aten leans on Durbin's left shoulder with his right arm. Both men are wearing three piece suits and each holds a lit cigar.
This beautiful tintype has been passed down through three generations of the Durbin family to a direct descendent of Walter Durbin, the same source as a cabinet photograph of Durbin and Company "D" we sold in our June 2014 Legends of the West auction.
Joseph Walter Durbin (1860-1916) served in Captain Frank Jones' Company "D," Frontier Battalion, with his brother, James William "Tink" Durbin. In 1892, after his service with the Texas Rangers, he was elected sheriff of Frio County, Texas, near San Antonio and later authored a memoir entitled Walter Durbin: Texas Ranger and Sheriff, which was edited by Robert W. Stephens, a Texas Ranger historian.
Ira Aten (1862-1953) moved to Texas from Illinois with his family at the age of fourteen. Two years later, in 1878, he witnessed the death of the notorious outlaw Sam Bass and decided to become a peace officer. She joined the Frontier Battalion, Company "D," in 1883, eventually serving as sergeant. He served with the Rangers until 1891, working mostly in the counties that border Mexico. He later served as sheriff of Fort Bend and Castro Counties. In 1895, he organized a twenty man police force to patrol the expansive XIT Ranch. He and his family moved to California in 1904 and he died there in 1953, aged 91 years.
Provenance: Durbin family.
Condition: The lower edge of the image is chipped, exposing the tin underneath.
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