The short yet eventful life of William T. Anderson has been well documented in Civil War Records, newspaper reports, probate files, marriage license, etc.

Since the contention was made by William C. Anderson in 1924 that he was the notorious Bloody Bill Anderson, his life story needs to be illuminated so those that are unsure if his story was true or not, will have all of the available facts to make an informed decision for themselves

Any responsible Historian or Genealogist knows that any narrative without documentation or sources is just a myth, or as the old western pioneers called it, “a windy”.  William C. Anderson, or “Uncle Billy” as he was referred to by the local community, had by 1924 outlived most of his contemporaries or  for that matter, his generation of family members. He was 84 years old, his wife had died eight years previously and he was being cared for by his youngest son Pat and family. That is what was reflected in the 1920 Census for Brown County, Texas also.  Uncle Billy had accumulated slightly under 400 acres of land through grants, purchase and land inherited by his wife, Martha Elizabeth Anderson. She was his first cousin and daughter of Moses G. Anderson.

A writer by the name of Henry C. Fuller was employed by the Brownwood Bulletin Newspaper. Henry Fuller also made extra income by free lance work writing pamphlets about famous outlaws or county histories to sell advertising in. He sold the finished product to store owners to give to their customers to gain favor and hopefully their trade. Henry interviewed many county pioneers to write his histories for the  merchants pamphlet trade. It is assumed that Henry was doing just that when he interviewed Uncle Billy in 1924. While talking to Uncle Billy and his name’s closeness to the Quantrill Guerillas’ member “Bill” Anderson name became apparent. (The name “Bloody Bill” was never applied to the guerilla Bill Anderson, until long after the Civil War.)

Uncle Billy had been involved in the death of several Union sympathizing neighbors in Stone County Missouri in 1861. William M. Anderson, his father, had been elected as a Justice of the Peace, but with the outbreak of the Civil War, he was unable to fulfill the duties of the office. When his son was involved with other "citizens" of Stone County in the death of a neighbor and respected man in the community, Caleb Cox and his son Peter, his father was instrumental in sending William to Brown County, Texas to live with his Uncle Moses or his brother David Q. Anderson, to keep him alive. During this period of time, Bill and his older brothers David and James appear on the county tax lists in 1863 as verified by Henry Ford, then County Clerk and documented in his booklets written for the Cotton Calculators he had printed and distributed to customers of the Coggin Ford Bank in Brownwood.

The writer, Henry Fuller, on the Brownwood Bulletin staff,  wrote a letter to a relative of the Brownwood Bulletin editor William Mayes, asking if he could corroborate Uncle Billy's story. It is not known if there were any answers to the query, but Mr. Hayes' staff writer, Henry C. Fuller never wrote of Bloody Bill again.

As you browse through this website, you will see the two individuals lives and deaths documented so that you can determine for yourself whether Uncle Billy's claim in 1924, had any merit. I personally believe it did not and have tried to document that within these pages. CR


Clay Riley,

Past President,

Pecan Valley Genealogical Society

Member of; The Brown County Heritage Association,

Brown County Historical Commission

Brown County Historical Society

Brownwood Public Library Trustee

Brownwood, Texas 2013



 © 2013 Clay Riley -