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Texas John Slaughter


ABC Network
1958 - 1961
60 Minutes

Tom Tryon starred as John Slaughter, a frontier lawman who attempted to bring order to the Old West of the 1870s.  

When John Slaughter rode into the Texas community of Friotown, he was attacked by two men who mistook him for Texas Ranger Ben Jenkins (Harry Carey Jr.). John killed the men in self-defense, and subsequently Ben Jenkins offered John a job as a Texas Ranger. John turned down the offer and pursued his dream of being a cattle rancher. 

Unfortunately, when outlaw boss named Frank Davis (Robert Middleton) pulls John away from his dream, he joins forces with Ranger Ben Jenkins to track down Davis and his gang. Davis is captured, but when he  is released on bail, he flees to Laredo to start an criminal empire.


John follows Davis to Laredo, survives an ambush, brings Frank Davis to justice, and puts his dream of a cattle ranch on hold to become a full-time Texas Ranger. His next mission: Save settlers from attacking Apaches...

Dialog from first episode of "Texas John Slaughter"

Walt: Disney: A turned up white Stetson and pearl handled gun. My friend Stan Jones has written a song about them. I want you to hear it....Stan.
Stan Jones and two backup singers: His turned up white Stetson
and pearl handled gun
were known both far and wide

With Stetson so white
And a pearl handled gun
Swinging on his side

Texas John Slaughter
Made 'em do what they oughta,
'Cause if they didn't they'd die.

In Texas a ranger
He had to become
And outlaws he defied

For Texas John Slaughter
Made 'em do what they oughta,
'Cause if they didn't they'd die.

His turned up white Stetson
And pearl handled gun
Were known both far and wide
Were known both far and wide


Walt Disney: John Slaughter, a true hero of the west.
Stan Jones:

That's for sure, Walt. You know he was a cofounder of Douglas Arizona, my hometown. You know something else, when I was born, he was at my christening.

Walt Disney: Is that right. You know, I have a personal interest in John Slaughter, too. Our research department discovered that when Mrs. Slaughter died in 1942, among her personal effects were 100 shares of Walt Disney production stock.
Stan Jones: Well, what do you know.
Walt Disney: That just goes to show that this Old West that we talk about is not so old after all.


TRIVIA NOTE: The 17-episode series aired under the "Frontierland" banner of the Sunday night anthology WALT DISNEY PRESENTS.

Filmed in Frio Town, Texas, the series was based on John Horton Slaughter (1841-1922), an actual historical figure who helped clear the Texas territory of outlaws, bandits and other no-goods.

Disney bundled the first and second episodes and released them as a feature film Texas John Slaughter.

Obituaries: Tom Tryon: 09/04/1991;

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