Today is the first day of Black History Month. Here’s a Black History fact for you. It turns out the real “Lone Ranger” was an black man.
Bass Reeves was one of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshall west of the Mississippi River. He worked the Oklahoma and Arkansas Territories mostly. He was credited with arresting over 3,000 felons and shot and killed fourteen outlaws in self-defense. He was born into slavery in 1838. Reeves worked for thirty-two years as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory. He also brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions.
Reeves rode a big gray horse, wore a black hat, and gave out silver dollars as a calling card. He spoke five Native American languages fluently. He retired from Federal Service after 32 years, the last and longest serving of Judge Parker’s Marshals. He took a position with the Muskogee Oklahoma Police Department until his passing in 1910 of natural causes.