Who was that masked man?
The Lone Ranger began his quest of law and order as a Texas Ranger, serving along with his brother, Captain Dan Reid and 4 other Rangers, when they were ambushed by the notorious Butch Cavendish.
Found later by Native American Tonto, John Reid was the “lone ranger” that survived the attack. In the backstory created by writer Fran Striker (1903-1962), Tonto and Reid buried the Rangers and created a sixth grave to create the impression that none survived. To hide his identity while bringing Cavendish to justice for the murders, John fashioned a mask from the black vest his brother once wore.
The adventures of The Lone Ranger debuted as a radio program in 1933 on Detroit’s WXYZ and aired 2,956 episodes, most penned by Striker. As television programming gained popularity, the Lone Ranger became a weekly series with Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels, a Canadian Mohawk, as Tonto. The series aired on ABC-TV from 1949-1957, and multiple years following in syndication.
The lore of the Texas Rangers, now known as the “oldest state law enforcement agency in America” began in 1823 when “Father of Texas” Stephan Austin asked for volunteers to ride the ranges to reduce lawlessness. By 1835, the “Corp of Rangers” were offered a pay rate of $1.25 per day.
The focus of the Rangers shifted over the years, but a uniformed force was not created until 1901; previous Rangers could wear what they chose, along with the gold or silver star badge.
This 1969 comic book features the Lone Ranger and Tonto as portrayed by Moore and Silverheels. After shooting a mountain lion that attacked Tonto, the Lone Ranger has used his last silver bullet and must head to his secret silver mine to dig for more ore and smelt new bullets. The book was free with a purchase of Jumping Jack shoes.