Emma Webster Fenley

Emma Webster was born in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania in 1876. She married a Texas Ranger and had two children but the marriage ended in divorce in 1913. Webster worked for the U.S. Customs during the Mexican revolution inspecting women to make sure that none were smuggling weapons across the border into El Paso.

In 1913 Webster was the first woman to serve as the deputy sheriff in El Paso and also served as jail matron. Also in 1913, Webster was appointed county probation officer. As the probation officer, Webster dealt with women and delinquent children, making sure runaways got back to their family and transported children to reform school. Webster cames out in support of birth control. She retired as the probation officer in 1932.

Webster was remarried to Ivy R. Fenley and died in 1936 at her home at Ascarate. Webster also served the El Paso Mother’s Council.

Joseph Longo

EPCHS Volunteer


Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.