Reinterment of William Preston "Wild Bill" Longley, 19 July 2001, Giddings, TX

after exhumation by Smithsonian Institution for DNA comparison with his great-niece proved their kinship

Photographs Courtesy of Mary Chella Alford Gordon






 Pallbearer nephews/great-nephews remove casket: Left to Right (backs to camera), David C. Hannes (black hat) descendant of Bill's uncle Caleb B. Longley, James Edward Mahlmann (grey hat) descendant of Bill's aunt Mary Longley Dotson, Lance Leon Longley descendant of Bill's younger brother Alexander Campbell Longley;
End of coffin, Mayor Paul Kipp, to right of mayor, Pastor Dale Burris who delivered the sermon; (facing camera): Charles G. Maddox, Jr. (white hat) descendant of Mary Longley Dotson, James Posey Alford (bare head) descendant of Bill's aunt Martha Jane Alford Longley, Houston Voy Marchman (white hat & shades) descendant of Bill's uncle John Posey Longley

 Facing camera, Four pallbearers and Dr. Owsley. Left to Right:
(1) Lance Leon Longley (son of Alvis Leon, son of Alexander Leon, son Alexander Campbell "Cammie" Longley (II) 1867-1943, beloved young brother of Bill, lived with Alexander in his old age and told his grandson Alvis stories of Bill firsthand. Alvis, closest link to Wild Bill in our family, attended the service; (2) James Edward Mahlmann; (3) Charles Gordon Maddox, Jr.; (4) Anthropologist Dr. Doug Owsley of Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History had not planned to stay for the reinterment or speak, but changed his mind; said, "I was overcome to say something"; (5) Houston V. Marchman.

 Pallbearer grand- and great-nephews place the handmade coffin: Left: James Posey Alford of Gonzales (gr-grandson of Martha Jane Longley Alford), Houston Marchman of Ft. Worth (gr-gr-grandson of John Posey Longley), Charles G. Maddox Jr. of Caldwell (gr-gr-gr-grandson of Mary Longley Dotson), Michael A. Reese of Houston (gr-gr-gr-grandson of Mary Longley Dotson), David C. Hannes of Giddings (gr-gr-gr-grandson of Caleb Longley)

 Dr. Doug Owsley & James Posey Alford of Gonzales, TX

There was a PBS Program about this event, narrated by Alan Alda. See SCRIPT.

On 19 July 2001, in the Giddings, TX, City Cemetery, the remains of William Preston Longley were reinterred by his family, after being exhumed by anthropologist Dr. Doug Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History, for DNA comparison with a living relative, a grand-niece. Using technology not available until recently, it was proven once and for all that the body in that grave was indeed William Preston "Wild Bill" Longley. With cousins serving as pallbearers, a new casket made by Michael Alan Reese was brought to the gravesite by horse-drawn carriage.

A PBS documentary aired 30 Oct 2001.






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