Former Texas Rangers Association
Recognized by the Texas House Resolution 1065 as being the Oldest Ranger Organization, the Former Texas Rangers Association (FTRA) was established in 1897 and became a non-profit 501c(7) in 1949.
The roots of the FTRA go back more than a century, when former Ranger Captain John S. “Rip” Ford spearheaded a movement to organize a reunion of ex-Rangers in 1897.
Capt. M. M. McKinney chaired a meeting of some of the surviving members of the old Texas Ranger Force in Austin in March of 1897. A resolution was passed to form an Ex-Ranger Association, membership to include Ex-Rangers who had been honorably discharged from the service. The purpose of the organization would be for social and benevolent purposes, and to preserve and collect the history of the Texas Rangers.
Those honorably discharged Ex-Rangers were invited to attend another meeting in October of that year, again in Austin, for permanent organization and enrollment.
Members began meeting in various locations around the state every year to reminisce about their glory days as Texas Rangers. They moved to preserve the history and memory of a gallant body of men who had contributed much in the establishment of the most storied state in the republic.
As part of the Texas Centennial in 1936, Memorial Hall opened. Adjacent to the Witte Museum in San Antonio, it was intended to be a memorial to Pioneers, Old Trail Drivers and Texas Rangers.
By 1949 the association formed a non-profit corporation called The Texas Association of Ex-Rangers.
In 1965, the charter was amended, returning to the original name, and, six years later the corporation was re-chartered as the Former Texas Rangers Association.
In 1973, the FTRA opened a Ranger museum downstairs at Memorial Hall. And in late 2006, The Texas Ranger Museum opened in the historic Buckhorn Museum in downtown San Antonio.
Each May the FTRA holds its annual Membership Meeting and reunion.