There were only three men to be called Captain of the Arizona Rangers.
1901-1902: The First
Burton C. Mossman had previously been manager of the two million acre Aztec Land and Cattle Co., also called the “Hash Knife outfit,” in northern Arizona near Holbrook and Winslow, had some success in controlling rustling of his company’s cattle. He spoke Spanish, was a rough rider and was a great storyteller.
In July 1902 after successfully recruiting and organizing the original Rangers, Mossman resigned, returning to the cattle business. Rumors had it that Mossman did not want to work under a new governor.
1902-1907: The Second
Thomas H. Rynning had been enlisted in the Eight Cavalry, rode with General Miles, was a track and field competitor, also a Rough Rider as his predecessor, and had been building railroad bridges for Southern Pacific before joining the Arizona Rangers.
Rynning started a thorough training program with the Rangers. Captain Rynning resigned on March 20, 1907.
1907-1909: The Third
Harry C. Wheeler moved the Ranger headquarters from Douglas to Naco. Wheeler, who had served the Rangers at every rank brought discipline and idealism to the ranks. He was known for his iron will and absolute honesty. Captain Wheeler was the best possible field officer and administrator.
After the Arizona Rangers were disband in 1909, Wheeler became the Sheriff of Cochise County.