R.P. Orrell was a First Sergeant in the Field Battalion of the Texas Rangers, serving under Capt. Leander McNelly, the famed "tamer of the Nueces Strip". His service began in 1874 when Capt. McNelly gathered a select group of individuals to accomplish a feat that at the time seemed impossible - bring order to the Nueces Strip, the lawless area between the Nueces and Rio Grande Rivers overrun by bandits under the rule of Mexican Generals Juan Cortina and Juan Salinas.
Sergeant Orrell was one of five mounted Rangers, along with 6 or 7 Rangers on foot, to make up McNelly's famed "Death Squad". This group of fearless men crossed the Rio Grande (against orders from the U.S. Secretary of War) in mid- afternoon to confront Salinas and his band of 400 men on Mexican soil. The Rangers were victorious, capturing Salinas and returning over 400 head of cattle to Texas ranches.
R.P. Orrell had a family of 13 children, one of which was Jenny Orrell. The Cooper ranch bordered the Orrell Ranch to the East and across the Frio River. Jenny fell in love with Samuel Cooper, son of S.T. Cooper - a civil war veteran in his own rite and another intriguing story - and were soon married. The 1,400 acres of the Cooper- Maxwell Ranch encompass the homesteads of the Orrell and Cooper families.
Home to the Orrell Family, the Cottage offers 2 master suites and a bunk room, 2 1/2 bathrooms and a full kitchen with gas range. The wood burning fireplace will keep you cozy on the cooler nights. The back porch swing will invite you to take in the spectacular hill country vistas. Or perhaps gather around the firepit and re-live the stories of old. Adjacent to the tarmac, the Cottage has the convenience of accessibility, yet feels miles away. Comfortably sleeps 6.