MCDONALD, WILLIAM MADISON
MCDONALD, WILLIAM MADISON (1866–1950). William Madison (Gooseneck Bill) McDonald, politician, fraternal leader, and businessman, was born on June 22, 1866, at College Mound, Texas. His father had been a slave, his mother a free woman. He attended Roger Williams University in Nashville, Tennessee, with the aid of Z. T. Adams and other white friends. McDonald became prominent in Texas Republican politics in 1892, when he was elected to the party's state executive committee. For more than thirty years he remained a notable figure of the party and attended many Republican national conventions. After the death of Norris Wright Cuney in 1897, McDonald became leader of the Texas Republicans. In 1896 he formed a political partnership with Edward Howland Robinson Green, who became active in Texas Republican politics as a member of the "Black and Tan" faction. Although the two men remained together for many years and survived numerous political battles, control of the party was wrested from them in 1900 by the "Lily Whites." In 1912, as a result of the "Bull Moose" upheaval, McDonald and the Black and Tans temporarily regained control of the party. He moved to Fort Worth and, with the support of black lodges, founded the Fraternal Bank and Trust Company, which quickly became the chief depository of funds for the state's black Masonic lodges. McDonald and the Black and Tans in 1920 supported Gen. Leonard Wood for the Republican presidential nomination. However, an opposing Texas Republican presidential faction, led by Rentfro Banton Creager of Brownsville, backed Warren G. Harding, who won the party's nomination. After the 1920 election, McDonald became more independent and seldom trusted the Texas Republican party. He supported Progressive Robert M. LaFollette and Democrats Al Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt, before returning to the Republican party to support Thomas E. Dewey for president. McDonald died in Fort Worth on July 5, 1950, and was survived by his fifth wife; his only child, a son, had died some thirty years previously. McDonald was buried in Trinity Cemetery, Fort Worth.
Alwyn Barr and Robert A. Calvert, eds., Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1981). Paul D. Casdorph, A History of the Republican Party in Texas, 1865–1965 (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1965). Dallas Morning News, September 18, 1949, July 6, 10, 1950. E. W. Winkler, Platforms of Political Parties in Texas (Austin: University of Texas, 1916).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Paul D. Casdorph, "McDonald, William Madison," accessed February 14, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc45.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles