â€‹This watch was the personal property of one of the most famous Captains of the Frontier Battalion. In the 1880’s he was a Deputy Sheriff in Wood County.After moving to Hardeman County, he served as Deputy Sheriff, Special Ranger, and U.S Deputy Marshall of the Northern District of Texas and the Southern District of Kansas. In 1891 McDonald was selected to replace S.A. McMurry as Captain of Co.B , Frontier Battalion. He served as a Ranger Captain until 1907. He had a reputation as a gunman and is known as one of the “Four Great Captains. In 1905, he served as bodyguard fror Pres. Teddy Roosevelt. In 1907, Gov. Campbell made him a state revenue agent . He again fulfilled the roll of bodyguard in 1912 for a visit by Woodrow Wilson. Later Wilson appointed him U.S Marshall for the Northern District of Texas. Bill McDonald â€‹ died of pneumonia on Jan. 15, 1918 at Wichita Falls and is buried at Quanah. On his tombstone is carved “â€‹No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin'”.
â€‹The watch itself is made by the Dueber-Hampden Watch Co. of Canton , Ohio and according to the serial #1643082 was made in 1902. The inscription on the watch cover reads â€‹Captain Bill McDonald Texas Rangers. â€‹He obviously carried this watch in his vest pocket for many years as the inscription and the Mountain Lake scene on the obverse side are very worn. If you look closely at the inscription you can see that the P in Captain , the second L in Bill and part of the Mc in McDonald are worn away. The second hand on the watch will move if I give it a little shake but then stops so I imagine it could use a good cleaning. When I acquired it many years ago it was running but it’s since sat in my gun cabinet. The watch chain is typical Texas with a Horse head in a horse shoe. It appears the inlays in the chain are either pearl or alabaster. A very historical piece !