Below is Fusselman Canyon, which follows the Fusselman Canyon Fault, a major natural cut into the Franklin Mountains. For centuries it has served as a natural corridor for the movement of people, goods and livestock between the river valley to the west and the desert basin to the east. The canyon also served as a source of seasonal water, plant and animals for the many Native Americans who inhabited this region. It is named in honor of Charles H. Fusselman (1866-1890), Texas Ranger and U.S. Deputy Marshall.
In the late 19th Century, El Paso was a booming town, but outlying areas were still plagued by frontier conditions. On April 17, 1890, local rancher John Barnes reported that his horses and cattle has been stolen. Later that day, Charles Fusselman was deputized and led Barnes and city policeman George Herold into the Franklin Mountains to chase the rustlers.
The thieves intended to drive the horses and cattle through the canyon (along the path of today's Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Road), through Smuggler's Gap at the top of the canyon, and then into the Rio Grande Bosque near Canutillo, Texas. Fusselman's party captured one of the rustlers before encountering the outlaws' camp. There they were met with a barrage of gunfire, and Fusselman was shot and killed. The outlaws escaped after the outnumbered Barnes and Herold left their prisoner and fled the scene. Fusselman's body was later recovered and taken to Lagarto, Texas, where he was buried.
For the next ten years, lawmen pursued the rustlers. Geronimo Parra, the outlaw leader, was finally arrested, tried and found guilty of Fusselman's murder. He was legally hanged in January 1900 in El Paso. The canyon became known as Fusselman Canyon in honor of the slain deputy and ranger.