World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

William Madison McDonald

Article Id: WHEBN0029146445
Reproduction Date:

Title: William Madison McDonald  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Forney, Texas, William Macdonald, Edward Howland Robinson Green
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

William Madison McDonald

William Madison McDonald (June 22, 1866 – July 5, 1950), nicknamed "Gooseneck Bill", was an African American politician and businessman of great influence in Texas.

Early life

Named after William Shakespeare and James Madison, he was born in College Mound, Texas little more than a year after the end of the American Civil War.[1] His father, George McDonald from Tennessee, was once owned by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, according to the Dallas Morning News.[1] His mother was Flora Scott McDonald of Alabama, described by one source as a "free woman"[2] and another as a "former slave".[3] George McDonald was a farmer and blacksmith. Flora died when William was a child, and George married Belle Crouch.[3]

As a teenager, William went to work for rancher and lawyer Captain Z. T. Adams, who began teaching him about business and law.[1][3] Graduating from high school in 1884, with the help of Adams and others, he attended Roger Williams University in Nashville, Tennessee.


After graduation, he took the position of principal of an African American high school in Forney, Texas for several years. He married one of the teachers, Alice Gibson.

In 1892, he was elected to the Republican Party of Texas's state executive committee.[2] He was a power in state politics for over thirty years as a leader of the "Black and Tan" faction, teaming up with businessman Ned Green, the son of the wealthiest woman in America.[1][2][3] At the 1896 Republican National Convention, McDonald was given the unflattering nickname "Gooseneck Bill" by a Dallas Morning News reporter on account of the shape of his neck.[1] When his faction was driven from power in 1900 by the "Lily Whites", he turned his efforts to business, though he retained an interest in politics.[2]

He moved to Fort Worth in 1906 and founded the Fraternal Bank and Trust Company, the city's first African-American-owned bank.[1] His strong connections to African American fraternal organizations (he was elected Right Worshipful Grand Secretary of the African American Texas Masons in 1899, a post he kept for 50 years,[3] and was also the Supreme Grand Chief of the Seven Stars of Consolidation of America[4]) got him much of their business and was a key factor in the bank's success.[1] With their deposits, he was able to provide loans that African American entrepreneurs of the segregated era had difficulty obtaining from white-owned banks. He became, according to the Dallas Morning News, "probably Texas' first black millionaire."[1]

He died on July 5, 1950 in Fort Worth and was buried in Trinity Cemetery. He was survived by his fifth wife; his only child, a son, predeceased him by thirty years.[2]


  • Bundy, William Oliver. Life of William Madison McDonald, Ph. D. Bunker (1925). ASIN: B00085TUVW


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.