Heroes & Champions

Bigfoot Wallace Runs the Mail

A Texas Folktale

retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Bigfoot Wallace – that wild and wacky Texas Ranger -- returned to the wilds of frontier life once the United States won the war with Mexico, and it suited him as nothing else could do. Soon he was freighting mail six hundred miles from San Antonio to El Paso, and it was the wildest stretch in the Wild West! Wallace was the only man who could do it. Anyone else who tried was scared off by attacking Comanche and Apache warriors or killed outright. It took a month of hard riding to make the trip, which ran right through the old Comanche Trail. Indians and Army soldiers all knew him as a reckless, fearless man. Any warrior who killed or wounded “Captain Wallacky” was sure of a heroes welcome in his tribe. But none ever succeeded, though there were times that Wallace would ride into an Army outpost with his mail coach so shot up he had to lie over for a few days to repair it.

When he wasn’t running the mail, Bigfoot still worked with the Texas Rangers, taming the untamable and keeping the peace. Took him another twenty years of busting desperados and dodging Indians before he decided to retire. Wallace lived out the rest of his days in the company of his good friends, the Bramlette family, and as an old man he lived with their daughter Fran and her husband, Doc Cochran, telling tales of his frontier exploits and and outwitting the antics of Fran’s very active boys.

Bigfoot Wallace died in 1899 and his final resting place was the State Cemetery in Austin. But the stories of his exploits live on to this day, and somewhere on the road to El Paso, the spirit of El Muerto still rides.


You can read more Texas folklore and ghost stories in Spooky Texas by S.E. Schlosser.


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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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