Captain Bill McDonald (1852-1918) was the most prominent of the "Four Great Captains" of Texas Ranger history. His career straddled the changing scene from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. In 1891 McDonald became captain of Company B of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers. "Captain Bill" and the Rangers under his command took part in a number of incidents from the Panhandle region to South Texas: the Fitzsimmons-Maher prizefight in El Paso, the Wichita Falls bank robbery, the murders by the San Saba Mob, the Reese-Townsend feud at Columbus, the lynching of the Humphries clan, the Conditt family murders near Edna, the Brownsville Raid of 1906, and the shootout with Mexican Americans near Rio Grande City. In all these endeavors, only one Ranger lost his life under McDonald's command.
McDonald's reputation as a gunman rested upon his easily demonstrated markmanship, a flair for using his weapons to intimidate opponents, and the publicity given his numerous exploits. His ability to handle mobs resulted in a classic tale told around campfires: one riot, one Ranger. His admirers rank him as one of the great captains of Texas Ranger history. His detractors see him as an irresponsible lawman who accepted questionable information, precipitated violence, hungered for publicity, and related tall tales that cast himself in the hero's role. Harold J. Weiss, Jr., seeks to find the true Bill McDonald and sort fact from myth. McDonald's motto says it all: "No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'."
Albert Bigelow Paine (10 July 1861 - 9 April 1937) was an American author and biographer best known for his work with Mark Twain. Paine was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee and wrote in several genres, including fiction, humour, and verse.
Paine was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and was moved to Bentonsport, Iowa when one year old. From early childhood until early adulthood, Paine lived in the village of Xenia in southern Illinois; here he received his schooling. At the age of twenty, he moved to St. Louis, where he trained as a photographer, and became a dealer in photographic supplies in Fort Scott, Kansas. Paine sold out in 1895 to become a full-time writer, moving to New York. He spent most of his life in Europe, including France where he wrote two books about Joan of Arc. This work was so well received in France that he was awarded the title of Chevalier in the Légion d'honneur by the French government. Paine was married to Dora and had three daughters.