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William Jessie McDonald was born to a Mississippi planter by the name of Enoch McDonald and Eunice Durham on September 28, 1852. Bill’s father was killed in the Civil war and at age 14 the family moved to Texas. The rest is part Texas Ranger history and part lore. McDonald ascended to the rank of Captain due to a combination of talent and a striking ability to capitalize and maximize Ranger mystique. He himself was a “frontier phrase-maker and coiner of epigrams and was so picturesque and daring that others coined phrases about him.” Good social qualities, plenty of salty talk and a wide acquaintanceship with newspaper men and politicians, helped perpetuate the myth as did his appearance at the Democratic convention and trips wolf-hunting with Teddy Roosevelt.