Ranger is a city in Eastland County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,468 at the 2010 census. Ranger College, a community college, is the second-largest employer in the community.
During the 1920s, Ranger, like nearby Cisco, Eastland, and Desdemona, was a petroleum boomtown. At the time, Ranger had railroad service through the since-defunct Wichita Falls, Ranger, and Fort Worth Railroad, acquired by the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, one of the properties of Frank Kell, Joseph A. Kemp, and later Orville Bullington of Wichita Falls, Texas. The Wichita Falls and Southern was abandoned in 1954.
The Texas Pacific Coal Company of Thurber, Texas, drilled a gas well north of Ranger in August 1917, after town civic leaders offered acreage in return for four test wells. Then on 11 October 1917, the McClesky well, 1 mile southwest of Ranger, produced oil at 1200 BOPD. Production came from the Strawn Formation sandstones at 1,300 feet (400 m) to 2,000 feet (610 m), the Smithwick Shale, and the Marble Falls Formation limestone at 3,200 feet (980 m) to 3,400 feet (1,000 m) feet. The Ranger Oil Field production peaked in July 1919 at 80,000 BOPD. The oil boom brought many seeking jobs, including farm boys and demobilized veterans.
Ranger is located in northeastern Eastland County at 32°28′12″N 98°40′36″W (32.470102, -98.676734). Interstate 20 passes south and east of the city, with access from Exits 349, 351, 352, and 354. I-20 leads east 85 miles (137 km) to Fort Worth and west 65 miles (105 km) to Abilene.