The Jane Wells Woods Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Burnet: dedicated a Texas Veteran Marker at the grave of Campbell Longley*  who was born 30 Sept 1816 in Sevier County, Tennessee and who died 15 Sept 1907 in Lometa, Lampasas County, Texas.  Longley had 183 living descendants survived him, and his second wife, Mary Catherine Dockery Craighead who was the last surviving widow of the War. Longley came to Texas in 1836. Four men (not named), including Campbell Longley, arrived at San Jacinto to see General Houston lying wounded against a tree. The next day they saw Santa Ana brought in a prisoner. Gen. Houston gave Longley and the others orders to rejoin their group; he also gave them a letter for the men at Goliad. When they arrived at Goliad they helped bury the dead. He (Longley) was shipwrecked at Matagorda Island, on his way back to Tennessee, when rescued he sold his first land grant for a change of clothes. Staying in Texas,  he married Sarah Ann Henry; the couple had ten children, including the famous outlaw "Wild Bill" Longley.
William Preston "Bill" Longley was born on Mill Creek in Austin County, Texas 6 Oct 1851, the son of Campbell Longley. The Henry Anderson family is on the 1850 census in Austin County near the Campbell Longley family. In 1853 Campbell bought a farm about three miles west of Evergreen (just north of Giddings), Washington (now Lee) County, Texas and the 1860 census shows that the Longley and Anderson families must have moved together from the Mill Creek area to the Evergreen area as the brother, Cale Longley, of Campbell is a next door neighbor of Henry Anderson who married Caroline Willingham, parents of Wilson Anderson.
The 16 Sept 1877 issue of the Galveston News printed an extensive story on Bill Longley as "related by Longley to a News reporter";  this story and several others concerning Bill Longley are reprinted in THE HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY, TEXAS.
Bill Longley's first troubles occurred when, after a conflict, he killed a Negro near Evergreen shortly before 10 Dec. 1866. To avoid the authorities Bill left the area to go westward and obtained employment as a cowboy with John Reagan of Karnes County, Texas. In April 1867 on his way home he was mistaken for Charlie Taylor of the Taylor party and was chased by a Calvary Regiment; Bill escaped after killing one of the soldiers.  This encounter resulted in a $1,000 reward being offered for his capture by the military authorities; Bill soon left for Arkansas.
Bill Longley wandered wide and far with trouble his constant companion. He relates stories of outlaws and killings in Arkansas, Texas, Indian Territory, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming Territory, Iowa, Kansas. For a while Bill used the name Tom Jones. Finally, Bill returned home to his father's farm in Texas, but left again after a mob was going to capture him for the $1,000 reward previously offered by the military.  Trouble and killings traveled with Bill as he attempted to work at various ranches in western Texas and he finally returned home to his father's ranch only to leave soon after for Mason County where he traveled under the name William Henry.  Here he was recognized by the sheriff of Mason County, Mr. Finley, who befriended, followed, and finally, with the help of a posse, captured Bill and took him to Austin to collect the $1,000 reward. In Austin Finley was informed by Governor Davis that the reward could not be collected; William Patterson of Austin, a cousin of Longley's, gave Finley $500 in gold, and Bill Longley was released.
After a short stay at his father's farm, Bill left and wandered across the state always encountering trouble.  Again he returned home and heard of the death of his cousin, Cale Longley, son of Cale Longley Sr., and that Cale had been killed by Wilson Anderson on 31 March 1875. Other stories related that Cale Longley was killed when his horse went under a limb and knocked him off as he and Wilson Anderson, his next door neighbor, were returning home from Giddings, but this story did not satisfy Bill who went to the field where Anderson was at work and shot him with a double-barreled shotgun.
After killing Anderson, Bill was on the run again; he used the names Jim Patterson and William Black; he finally wound up in De Soto Parish, LA were he was arrested by Sheriff Milton Mast of Nacogdoches, Texas after being recognized by a deputy of the sheriff of De Soto Parish.  Bill Longley was returned to Giddings, Lee County, Texas where he was charged with the murder of Wilson Anderson; Bill is credited with killing thirty-two men.
Bill was tried 3 Sept 1877 in Lee County, convicted of the murder of Wilson Anderson, and hanged 11 Oct 1878.   "The widow of Wilson Anderson, who attended the execution with her two children, was satisfied that Longley was dead." 

Dr. Katherine Willingham Woerner

Summer/Fall 2002 DRT newsletter, Daughters' Reflections
History of Lee County.
Yeats, John W. "Facts of Longley Hanging Explained", HOUSTON POST-DISPATCH, Magazine Section, October 25, 1931, p. 3.

Facts, as related to me by a descendant of Martha Jane Longley, sister of Bill Longley:
1) States "Veteran of the Texas Revolutionary War." dedicated 6 Apr 2002 by The Jane Wells Woods Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Burnet and two descendants of William Preston Longley's sister Martha Jane.
3) William Preston Longley was named after his father's two brothers who went to the CA Gold Rush.
4) It has been said that Bill was credited with a lot more killings than he actually committed.  He readily admited to some, but he denied killing Wils Anderson, the man he was hanged for.
5) Bill's brother, James Stockton "Jim" Longley, was a Lawman.
6) The father, 
Campbell Longley, was a Texas patriot, soldier, churchman.
7) The grandfather,
Joseph Longley, and great-uncles served in the War of 1812.
8) The great-grandfather,
William Longley, served in the American Revolution.


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