The Life Of Captain Bill McDonald
The Texas Ranger
Captain Bill McDonald (September 28, 1852– January 15, 1918), was a Texas Ranger who served briefly as a bodyguard for both U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, opponents, along with incumbent President William Howard Taft, in the bitter 1912 United States presidential election.
5 Facts about The Life Of Captain Bill McDonald
Captain Bill McDonald (1852-1918) is the most prominent of the “Four Great Captains” of Texas Ranger history.
“Captain Bill” and the Rangers under his command took part in a number of incidents from the Panhandle region to South Texas: the Fitzsimmons-Maher prizefight in El Paso, the Wichita Falls bank robbery, the murders by the San Saba Mob, the Reese-Townsend feud at Columbus, the lynching of the Humphries clan, the Conditt family murders near Edna, the Brownsville Raid of 1906, and the shootout with Mexican Americans near Rio Grande City. In all these battles, only one Ranger lost his life under McDonald’s command.
McDonald was born in Kemper County, Mississippi, September 28, 1852.
In the 1880s he served as a deputy sheriff in Wood County. After moving to Hardeman County, he served as deputy sheriff, special Ranger, and U. S. Deputy Marshal of the Northern District of Texas and the Southern District of Kansas.
In 1905, McDonald served as bodyguard to President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1907, Governor Campbell made him a state revenue agent. He again fulfilled the role of bodyguard in 1912 for a visit by Woodrow Wilson. Later Wilson appointed him U. S. Marshal for the Northern District of Texas.
Bill McDonald died of pneumonia on January 15, 1918 at Wichita Falls. He is buried at Quanah. On his tombstone is carved the following motto: "No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'."