Our cousin, the outlaw William
Preston "Wild Bill" Longley (1851-1878), mentioned
in above historical marker, was the son of Campbell Longley and his
wife Sarah Henry, a highly respected
family. He was said by some of his family to be a victim of the
times -- the post-Civil War era, in which his outlaw career began.
The first of the famous Texas gunmen, he was featured in a Louis
L'Amour western, The First Fast Draw (Bantam Books, 1959).
Bill was finally tried and executed by hanging in Giddings, Texas,
11 Oct 1878, at age 27. He has been the subject of numerous articles
and book chapters, and a television series.
For Photo and more information,
see the accompanying Bill Longley
page. Included is the transcript of copy of a handwritten letter
he wrote to an old friend, whose grandson gave me a copy. While
incarcerated in Nacogdoches, he wrote many letters that were
published in a Galveston newspaper.
Bill's brother Jim
was as fast a draw and was plagued by people who wanted to say
they killed the brother of Bill Longley.