McKamy, William Cooper, Jr. (1861–1934)

By: Shain Thomas

Type: Biography

Published: September 10, 2017

Updated: July 31, 2020

William Cooper McKamy, Jr., lawyer, farmer, stockraiser, and state legislator, the son of Capt. William and Rachael (Wester) McKamy, was born on the family farm in Dallas County, Texas, on June 25, 1861. The McKamy family, descendants of an extensive line of Scotch-Irish and Welsh ancestors, relocated from Roane County, Tennessee, to Wood County, Texas, in 1851. After a brief stay in Wood County, in 1852 the family moved to Dallas County where William Jr. was born.

While attending Georgetown’s Southwestern University, McKamy was a charter member of Kappa Alpha’s Xi chapter. After graduating from Southwestern in 1885, McKamy went on to pursue a law degree at the University of Texas. With the successful completion of a law degree in 1887, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Dallas for many years.

As a member of the Democratic party, McKamy served in the Texas House of Representatives for District 73 (Dallas County) from 1897 to 1901 and for District 44 (Dallas County) from 1913 to 1915. From 1903 to 1907 he served the interests of District 6 (Dallas and Rockwall counties) in the Texas Senate. During his political career, except for the regular session of the Twenty-sixth legislature, McKamy regularly served on judiciary committees. He also chaired the Towns and City Corporations Committee (Twenty-sixth legislature), Internal Improvements Committee (Twenty-ninth legislature), and State Affairs Committee (Twenty-eighth and Thirty-third legislatures).

On October 23, 1907, McKamy married the Garland-born Ruby Bullock. Some ten years after the marriage, in 1917, McKamy and his wife suffered the death of their two-day-old baby son, William G. McKamy. A daughter, Mary Ruby, was born to the couple on January 28, 1921.

In June 1932 McKamy announced his candidacy for “the office of County Judge of Dallas County, subject to the Democratic Primary election, July 23, 1932.” With 4,892 votes cast for him, McKamy lost his bid. He served as a secretary of the Texas State Fair Association and was director of the State Fair’s livestock department. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Following a “sickness of about two months,” William McKamy died at the age of seventy-two “at St. Pauls Sanitorium in Dallas” on February 20, 1934. When he died, the former Texas state legislator was still a resident of the farm where he was born. McKamy’s gravestone can be found at Frankford Cemetery in Collin County, Texas.

Carrollton Chronicle, February 23, 1934. Dallas Morning News, February 21, 1934. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: William Cooper McKamy (, accessed September 3, 2017. E. H. Loughery, Texas State Government (Austin: McLeod and Jackson, 1897). 

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law
  • Twenty-fifth Legislature (1897)
  • Twenty-sixth Legislature (1899-1900)
  • Twenty-ninth Legislature (1905-1906)
  • House
  • Senate
  • Thirty-third Legislature (1913-1914)
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Shain Thomas, “McKamy, William Cooper, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

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September 10, 2017
July 31, 2020

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