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McWilliams, William (unknown–ca. 1827)

Biography Entry

William McWilliams, a former Comanche trader and one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, took part in a colony election on April 20, 1824. On July 19, 1824, he received title to one league of land on the west bank of the Brazos River in what is now Burleson County. At that time he was living on the Brazos River near the Old San Antonio Road. The census of March 1826 listed McWilliams as a farmer and stock raiser, aged between forty and fifty. He was planning to take Thomas M. Duke and other early colonists to the Waco and Tawakoni Indians to find a mass of metal thought to be platinum, but he died before he could conduct the expedition and before June 1827, when J. M. Cortes at Natchitoches wrote to Austin concerning money owed him by the late William McWilliams.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January-July 1903).


  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Exploration
  • Traders

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

Anonymous, “McWilliams, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.