Over the 85-year period of his life, Manuel T. Gonzaullas’s experiences ranged from being a major in the Mexican Army to a T-agent for the Secretary of the Treasury. However its was his service in the Texas Rangers that earned him the moniker of “The Lone Wolf,” and the guns he carried while on the job were as unique as he was.
Just who was the Wolf?
Born in Spain to American citizens living in that country in 1891, he was orphaned at the age of 9 when both of his parents were killed in the great Galveston Hurricane. Growning up along the hard southern border, Gonzaullas began his long life of public service oddly enough as an officer in the Mexican Army at age 20 during the upheaval of in that country. In a world surrounded by such larger than life figures as Poncho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, the young American soon worked his way up in the ranks before leaving the country for the right side of the border in 1914. During this same time period the Mexican Army and rebel forces on all side employed hundreds of American soldiers of fortune.
Next Gonzaullas became a special agent serving in the U.S. Treasury Department for five years, working the customs ports of entry across the border. Switching over to the Texas Rangers in 1920, he was assigned to the rough oil fields in Witch County and, working largely on his own, cut a striking figure on horseback with his 10-gallon hat, blue eyes, easy command of both Spanish and English, and twin gun fighting rigs backed up by a quick-firing rifle (more on this in a minute).
Fighting bandits, bootleggers, bank robbers and the last of the old Western outlaws, he earned his Lone Wolf nickname in the hardest of ways before becoming director of the state’s Bureau of Intelligence and later a Captain. He helped investigate the Texarkana Moonlight Murders (immortalized in the 1970s movie “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” which is still shown every summer in that town) before retiring in 1951.
A strong believer of the Second Amendment, when he arrived in town to combat the so-called “Phantom Killer,” he told the media to put out that people should, “Check the locks and bolts of your doors and get a double-barreled shotgun to blow away any intruder who tries to get in.”
According to Damon Sasser, the Wolf was credited with some 75 banditos put under the Texas ground, but he kept those exploits largely to himself. A better gunfighter than the criminals he faced off against, he died an old man in 1977.
Moreover, the guns he carried allowed that.
Look closely…no triggers…
How about that trigger guard? Am I right?
Read the rest in my column at Firarms Talk