Junius “June” Peak – Soldier & Texas Ranger

Junius Peak

Junius Peak

Junius “June” Peak was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War, Dallas, Texas City Marshal, and Texas Ranger.

Peak was born in Warsaw, Kentucky, on April 5, 1845, to Jefferson and Martha Malvina Reasor Peak. When Junius was nine years old, the family moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1855. At the age of 16, he left home and joined the First Indian Brigade in 1861 at Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. After serving the Confederacy in Oklahoma for about a year, he transferred to General John H. Morgan’s Raiders of the Second Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, where he participated in the IndianaOhio raid as an aide and orderly to Major Ellsworth. Later, he was part of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Third Tennessee Cavalry, where he was wounded twice in the Battle of Chickamauga. After recovering from his wounds, he became a scout in the 8th Texas Cavalry, a position he held until the Civil War ended.

He then returned to Dallas, where he worked as a deputy sheriff for a time before he was hired by New Mexico ranchers to control the rampant cattle rustling in 1872. In 1874, he returned to Dallas and was elected City Marshal, a position he held until 1878. At the height of Sam Bass‘ terrorism in Texas, Peak was commissioned by the governor as a second lieutenant in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers and tasked with raising a special detachment to track down the notorious outlaw and his gang. By May 1878, he had been made a captain and pursued the outlaws relentlessly, ultimately driving them from North Texas towards capture and death at Round Rock, Texas.

After Bass was killed, Peak was transferred to San Angelo, where he fought against the Indians and pursued outlaws in West Texas. In April 1880, Peak resigned from the Texas Rangers and went to work for the Mexican Central Railroad Company, building and equipping supply stations for the construction workers. In 1881, he married Henrietta Boll in Dallas, and the pair returned to Mexico. In 1884, Peak returned to Texas, settling on a ranch in Shackelford County. However, in 1899, the couple returned to Dallas to provide a better education for their two children, and Peak began a new career in real estate. He served as the superintendent of White Rock Lake from 1919 to 1924. He died on April 20, 1934, at his home in Dallas.

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

Lawmen of the Old West

Lawmen & Gunfighters Photo Gallery

Texas Rangers – Order Out of Chaos

Texas – The Lone Star State