ELIAS CHANCE BRIGGS, TEXAS RANGER
When I started putting photos of 19th century Texas Rangers in here, I started getting correspondence from other SASS members about other rangers. In this case, the letter was from Ed Briggs, who took the alias of his grandfather, Elias Chance Briggs. In his own words about his grandfather, "He and his new bride moved by covered wagon from Tupelo, Mississippi to Comanche County Texas in 1889, built a home in DeLeon, and proceeded to raise ten children, the youngest of whom was my Dad. He joined the Texas Rangers in 1891 and served long enough to be granted a pension in 1914 by the state of Texas. Growing up I called him Grandpa, but most folks called him "Chance".Elias Chance Briggs, 1867-1954. Although I was born and raised in Texas, after I retired from the military I settled in Oklahoma and I have not had the chance to do any research at the Waco Museum to find out exactly which Company Chance belonged to, but I will next month on the way back from San Antonio.
Attached are two photos, the top one is the original Elias Chance Briggs in 1950 in the Big Bend Area of Texas, the bottom is me, the 1999 version of Elias Chance Briggs. I do have a letter dated March 10, 1919
from the Adjutant General of Texas, Jasper A. Hurley confirming
Chance's Ranger pension. I recovered it from the Texas State Archives a year or so ago.
BTW, Chance was about 5' 9" and around 170 in his prime, of course I've topped out at 6'4 and 260.
An author friend of Granddad's was a guy named Overholser and he wrote a book in the early 50's , western of course, called Chance, and When I read it, I can recognize all my uncles, my Dad, and Granddad and the rest of the Briggs clan.
I forgot to mention that I am a State Police Officer in Oklahoma, and married to the great granddaughter of Deputy U.S. Marshal James Reives, commissioned by Judge Isaac Parker in Dec of 1894."
Ed, Aka Chance
There's a lot of history out there we don't know about. It's in danger of getting lost. SASS and people like this are preserving it.