Friday, May 29, 2009

The Life and Times of Roscoe Redus

One of my favorite first cousins (4 times removed), was Corporal Roscoe Redus.

Roscoe was born 13 July 1876, on his father's ranch in Medina County, Texas. His father was Civil War 1st Lieutenant William Redus (1835-1885) and Calpurnia Lignon Greenwood (1848-1930).

On the 1880 US Federal Population Schedule Census, we see Roscoe living at home with his parents in Medina County. By the time the 1900 census rolls around Roscoe was living by himself in Medina County and his occupation was listed as a stockman.

On 24 April 1901, Roscoe married Ruby Terrell, probably in Medina County. They has one child by this marriage, Carmen Redus, b. 10 October 1903 in Medina County. Carmen married Cecil M. Harvey Sr on 11 August 1921. Cecil was a high official with Southwest Bell just prior to his death in 1979.

Roscoe's first wife Ruby died in 1906.

Roscoe was a Texas Ranger and a veteran of the Spanish American War. My cousin George M. Redus' father said, "He was a very good looking man and women really fell for him."

Roscoe married his second wife Matilda Soettle (b. 3 march 1877) around 1917. Matilda had a lot of property around Medina Lake north of Devine, Medina County, Texas. There is an area around the lake called Roscoe Redus Cove. Matilda died 15 April 1958 in Bandera County and is buried at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church cemetery, also in Bandera County.

Roscoe served as a Corporal in Company D, 1st Texas Volunteers, during the Spanish American War. But it was his service in the Texas Rangers that is the focus of this profile. Roscoe enlisted in the Regular Rangers Force, Company B, by Captain Tom Ross. His enlistment application indicated that Roscoe was single. But his service in the Rangers was far from uneventful. In fact, I recently uncovered this bit of Roscoe trivia recently at

In 1910, one of Captain Thomas Ross' sergeants in Ranger Company B enacted a drunken scene that was later to become a staple of Western movies. Sergeant Roscoe Redus rode his horse into an Ysleta saloon, pistol-whipped the proprietor, and shot up the premises. The El Paso Morning Times was not amused, noting that the community did not appreciate the Ranger's attempt to convert the Alamo Saloon into "a livery stable and a morgue."

Another account of Roscoe's escapade was chronicled in the book, The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution By Charles H. Harris, III, Louis R. Sadler. On page 30 they wrote:

"Unfortunately, Captain Ross's success was completely overshadowed by the regrettable Redus affair. Roscoe Redus was sergeant of captain Ross's company. He decided to have a few drinks with the boys but worked up a real head of steam. He got roaring drunk and rode has horse through a saloon, assaulting the proprietor and shooting up the place. Captain Ross was of course furious and immediately discharged Redus on January 12 (1910). As an El Paso newspaper put it. "Redus downfall followed an attempt on the ranger's part to make a livery stable and a morgue out of the Alamo Saloon recently"

Roscoe died on 23 Jun 1954 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He was buried in the Devine Evergreen cemetery in Medina County on 26 Jun 1954.

I know that Carmen Redus and Cecil Harvey Sr had two sons -- Cecil Jr and Roscoe Robert Harvey. If they or any of their descendants are still around, I would like to hear from them and maybe learn a bit more about Roscoe and his life and times. They can contact me at the address in the masthead.

So here is a six gun salute to Cousin Roscoe Redus, a true Texas hell raiser. Way to go Roscoe.