McNelly's Badge LbNA # 52395
|Placed Date||Mar 7 2010|
|Last Update||Feb 15 2014|
Leander H. McNelly was born March 12, 1844 in Brooke County, Virginia. During the late 1850s, Leander’s brother, Peter, had settled in Washington County, Texas, bringing Leander with his family. However, in 1860, Leander became symptomatic of tuberculosis.
In September 1861, McNelly was mustered in as a private in Campbell's Company, 2nd Regiment of the Sibley Brigade, 5th Texas Cavalry. He served in campaigns in New Mexico, Galveston and Louisiana. By the end of the war he was a captain of a company charged with hunting down deserters.
Following the war, McNelly returned to farming near Brenham, Texas. He also spent some time working for the General Land Office. When the Reconstruction-era State Police agency was formed in 1870, McNelly accepted a commission as one of four captains of the force.
In 1874, McNelly was commissioned to head a special force of Texas Rangers called the Washington County Volunteers. The mission of the special force was to protect the frontier from the depredations of factions both inside and outside of the state, and McNelly's Rangers were instrumental in suppressing lawlessness.
By early 1877, McNelly was incapacitated by the effects of tuberculosis and was forced to retire to his farm.
Leander H. McNelly died of tuberculosis on September 5, 1877. He is buried at the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Burton, Texas.
From Brenham, Texas: Travel HWY 290W for 4 miles. Turn NW (right) onto FM 2679. Follow FM 2679 for 5 miles. At the intersection, turn left onto FM 390 W. Follow FM 390W for 3 miles. Turn N (right) onto FM 1948. Veer right at the exchange to stay on FM 1948. Immediately, turn right at the Mt. Zion Cemetery~McNelly Monument sign. There is also a blue “Birthplace of Texas” marker here. Once inside the cemetery, drive straight ahead to find McNelly’s gravesite and historical marker. To find the letterbox, face McNelly’s back, turn N (left) and walk 50 steps past the garden of golden shrubs. Stop at the small forked oak tree overlooking the pasture. (Your back should be to a fenced gravesite.) Search the cavity of the forked oak 3 foot of the ground for McNelly’s Badge. Please rehide well and conceal with bark, sticks, and moss.
This information was summarized from www.texasranger.org/halloffame/. The carved badge stamp does not attempt to be representative of a law enforcement agent nor an authentic carving of an 1877 badge.