The Outlaw Johnny Ringo Rode the Hill Country

Johnny Ringo is most famous for tangling with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in Tombstone, Arizona, but he was a familiar figure on the streets of Fredericksburg, Mason, and Burnet. He knew the Texas Hill Country like the back of his hand.

John Peters Ringo was born in Indiana in 1850. He was related by marriage to Cole Younger of the James-Younger Gang.

As a young man Ringo drifted between Indiana and California before crash landing in Blanco County, Texas in November 1874.

Biographer David Johnson called Ringo a “recklessly brave man” with an unshakable frontier loyalty to his friends. His devotion to his pals got him into all kinds of trouble.

His first brush with the law came on December 25, 1874 when he got drunk at a Christmas party in Burnet and fired a pistol shot across the square. The sheriff arrested him for disorderly conduct.

The Nimitz Hotel Today (well, yesterday)
Courtesy of BillDave

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9 Responses to The Outlaw Johnny Ringo Rode the Hill Country

  1. Trish says:

    Lived hard, died young.

  2. yeah!@luis says:

    Heard he could play drums also.

  3. Done in Dallas says:

    My inlaws are from that area, descendants of the early German settlers that founded Fredericksburg, so I am down there frequently. Lots of interesting history there. My wife’s 3 times great grandfather was killed by the “Hangerband” (a group of Confederates that were trying to get the Germans to fight). His wife had died 3 days earlier of TB and his killing left 9 kids as orphans.

    There is a lot of good indian history there too.

    • Andy says:

      Agreed. Fredericksburg is my wife and my go to for alone time when we get it. Love that little town and the museums are fantastic.

  4. Guairdean says:

    If you make it to Fredericksburg, be sure to make time for the National Museum of the Pacific War. It’s a great museum and really gives you the feel of the history of the war.

  5. brighteyes says:

    He lay face down in the desert sand, clutching a six gun in his hand. Lorene Greene. I loved that song/ballad.

  6. Steve says:

    Yeeaaap, Mason. Texas doesn’t look any different than it did when Johnnie rode through it. Was down there last Saturday.


  7. meh says:

    He was a Starr.

  8. mbumgua says:

    Went thru Fredericksburg yesterday about 5:30 pm.

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