The charmed life of a frontier lawman

A Texan for three years and a Ranger for less than one, Jeff Milton survived his baptism of gunfire on Apr. 25, 1881 just as he would many other brushes with death in the years to come. When the wife of Florida governor John Milton gave birth soon after secession, the pleased papa named the baby Jeff Davis in honor of the Confederate president.

The elder Milton died in the closing days of the war, proud of the fact that his beloved Tallahassee along with Austin, Texas were the only southern capitals not to fall to the Yankees. Young Jeff hung around the ruins of the family plantation until 1877, when he moved to Texas to live with a married sister. The teenager worked for his brotherin- law in a general store at Navasota before deciding relatives do not make the best bosses.

 

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