Jeff Milton, youngest son of a Florida governor, spent most of his long life in a succession of law enforcement jobs. Arriving in Texas at 16, he starts out as a cowhand. Claiming to be 20, he qualifies to join the Texas Rangers in 1878, and serves for four years.
Milton joins the U.S. Customs Service in 1887 and is appointed a CUSTOMS MOUNTED INSPECTOR headquartered in Tucson, in the Customs Collection District of El Paso. Milton spends two years with Customs, riding the line from Nogales westward to the Colorado River. As a political appointee, Milton finds himself out of a job in 1889, when a new political party takes over the reins of federal power.
After spending fifteen years as a "spotter" with the Southern Pacific railroad, and being involved in a shootout with train robbers that left him with a permanently disabled arm. Milton joins the Bureau of Immigration in 1904 as a MOUNTED CHINESE INSPECTOR charged with enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
At 62, Jeff Milton becomes the first officer appointed to the U.S. Immigration Service Border Patrol in 1924, and for the next 8 years he pursues border patrol work with unbridled enthusiasm.
The Economy Act of 1932 forces the still active Milton into retirement at age 70. The Sector Chief at El Paso writes in praise of him: You have come to be regarded "as an institution rather than an individual. No other immigration officer has your value in cultivating for the Service the good will and friendship we must have for effective enforcement of the law."