Rodgers’ Grandson Carry on the Family’s Texas Ranger Tradition
Shane Ellison of Tomball, Texas was promoted to Texas Ranger in a ceremony in Austin on November 7, 2012. Shane is the son of Hugo and Pansy Ellison of Flynn, Texas. He is the grandson of the late Joe and Emegene Rodgers of Lexington and the late Henry and Annie Ellison of Rockdale, Texas.
Shane’s family tree on the Rodgers/Birdwell side includes four Texas Rangers that served between 1838 and 1841 under Captain Jason Wilson in his Mounted Volunteer Ranger Company in Red River County. Enlisted in this Company were his 4th great grandfather, George Birdwell and his two sons, Thomas G. and William B. Birdwell, along with a 5th great uncle Zacharia Birdwell.
George also served under Ranger Captains W.B.Stout and William Becknell, who were involved in the Indian uprisings in Red River County.
On the Smith side of the Rodgers’ family tree, Shane’s 3rd great uncle, John Lewis Smith III, was a Texas Ranger. Three years before his enlistment in September of 1842, John Lewis was in San Antonio at the courthouse when Mexican General Woll and the Mexican army invaded San Antonio, taking 52 prisoners, including John Lewis.
They were marched to the hated and cruel Perote Prison near Mexico City and there joined other prisoners from the survivors of the Dawson’s Massacre and the Mier Expedition. In 1844, after negotiations with the U.S. Minister to Mexico, these prisoners were allowed to return to Texas.
In 1845 John enlisted in Captain Cady’s Company of Texas Mounted Rangers in Austin, and served for the duration of the Mexican War.
Ranger Ellison has been with DPS for fourteen years and has served in the Highway Patrol and the Criminal Investigations Division. His promotion has afforded him the opportunity to carry on a family tradition.