OK so "The Lone Ranger" is a fictional character but the fact remains that he is probably based on John Reynolds Hughes whose life and exploits are recorded in Border Boss . John Reynolds Hughes whose family were of Welsh descent was born in Illinois on February 11th 1855. Dafydd Meirion, writing in Welsh Cowboys and Outlaws observes that.:- "Hughes grandparent had left Wales for America and his father, Thomas Hughes, had visited Wales twice to see his relatives."
"Border Boss" is essential reading for anyone wanting a detailed account of Hughes'' adventures. John Reynolds Hughes single-handedly tracked and subdued two gangs of murderous cattle-rustlers before deciding to do it professionally and joining the Texas Rangers. After that his career reads like a history of the old Wild West. He knew tthem all:- Butch Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean, Pancho Villa, Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, John Wesley Harding etc. Not only that but he survived to tell the tale. After his retirement he lived in Austin, Texas where he died in 1946 having reached the ripe old age of 91.
And the Lone Ranger connection?
" The famous western writer Zane Grey spent some time with Hughes while he was on the job. Later, his friend Grey wrote the famous book The Lone Star Ranger and dedicated it to Hughes and the Texas Rangers. It is written that his book was also the basis for the character of radio and movie fame, the Lone Ranger. Thus, some have concluded the Lone Ranger was based on the life of John R. Hughes. "