A Texas Ranger Memorial Cross will be placed on the grave of William Lewis Collings at the Camp Cooper Cemetery in Throckmorton County at 1:30 p.m. on November 13, 2021; the general public is invited.
William Lewis Collings was a Sergeant in Monroe Whiteside’s Texas Rangers who were protecting the Texas frontier. Collings was killed on August 1, 1863, by raiding Native Americans at Paint Creek in present-day Haskell County. This action of the frontier forces was reported in several histories; Buck Barry Texas Ranger and Frontiersman edited by James K. Greer gives details of the conflict.
William Lewis Collings was born on November 6, 1838, in Peoria, Illinois, to Thomas and Elizabeth Collings. According to B.B. Paddock’s History of Central and Western Texas, 1911, Thomas Collings ran the first ferry on the Trinity River in Dallas in the early 1840s. W. L. Collings married Sarah Ann Woodrum on the first of March in 1860 while living in Comanche, which was then in Erath County, Texas. They had two children: Edmond Lewis Collings (1861-1928) and Nancy Jane Collings (1863-1939).
After the Civil War, Sarah Ann married John Thomas Tucker on December 13, 1866, in Tarrant County. The Tuckers had six children and adopted a Tucker nephew Charles Campbell Brown. The Tucker extended families, including the Collings children, were settlers in Taylor County by 1878.
Questions regarding the Ranger Cross ceremony should be directed to
Alice W. Specht, email@example.com.
Camp Cooper was active from 1856 to 1861; located on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, its mission was to protect the frontier and to monitor the nearby Comanche Indian reservation. The post was founded by Col. Albert Sidney Johnston in January 1856 and became headquarters for four companies of the Second United States Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee (Lee’s first command). Today, the remains of Camp Cooper are on private property; tours are available by appointment.
The Texas Ranger Memorial Cross is furnished to members of the Former Texas Rangers Association at no cost. The Memorial Cross was first used in 1999 at the Center Point Cemetery in Kerr County where 32 Texas Rangers are buried. A Memorial ceremony was held at the cemetery and was attended by descendants, Texas Rangers, and the general public. The ceremony has brought families together for the mutual purpose to honor one of their own who has served as a Texas Ranger.
The Memorial Cross was designed by Don Holmes of “Stars Over Texas” and is manufactured by his son Jimmy Don Holmes, exclusively for the Association. The Cross is 18” x 36” with a mounted Texas Ranger circle star badge at the apex of the Cross. It is made of steel and powder-coated for protection from the outside elements.