Aldrich, Roy Wilkinson (1869–1955)

By: Morris G. Cook

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: September 18, 2018

Roy Wilkinson Aldrich, of the Texas Rangers, was born in Quincy, Illinois, on September 17, 1869. He spent his early childhood in Golden City, Missouri, and as a youth lived in Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma Territory. When the Spanish-American War began he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Second Missouri Volunteer Regiment; he saw service on the island of Mindanao during the Philippine Insurrection. He served with the British army's remount service in South Africa during the Boer War. From 1903 to 1907 he was sheriff of Kiowa County, Oklahoma Territory, and from 1907 to 1915 he was in the real estate business in Corpus Christi and San Antonio.

In 1915 he enlisted in Company A, Texas Rangers. He was promoted to captain and quartermaster in 1918 and retired from that post in 1947; his term of service at the time of his retirement was longer than that of any other ranger. During his years on the force Aldrich became known in Texas academic circles for his interest in history and natural history. He aided Walter Prescott Webb while Webb was doing research in South Texas for his book The Texas Rangers (1935); Aldrich's collections of flora and Indian artifacts provided specimens for botanists and anthropologists at the University of Texas. The woods and pond of his home near Austin were the source of an important collection of fruit flies used by the university's Genetics Foundation. Aldrich never married. He died on January 29, 1955, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin. In 1958 Sul Ross State College (now Sul Ross State University) acquired his 10,000-volume library.

Austin American, August 15, 1952. Austin American-Statesman, January 30, 1955. Dallas News, January 16, 1927. Houston Chronicle, January 17, 1960.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Morris G. Cook, “Aldrich, Roy Wilkinson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 18, 2018