Robert M. Williamson aka 3 legged Willie a Texas statesmen .


a Special thanks to Carlos Higgins for this photo

Beloved Texas patriot, Ranger, lawyer, judge, newspaper editor, and Williamson County’s namesake. The Republic of Texas appointed Major Williamson to organize the first three companies of Texas Rangers. He sat as judge of the Third District Court and as a member of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas. Williamson was elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Republic. He later served as a state Senator.

Known affectionately as Three-legged Willie due to the wooden leg he used following an illness when he was 15. His right leg drew up at the knee and could not support him. Thereafter, he wore a wooden leg, leaving his useless foot extended behind him. A lawyer at 19, he fought with the cavalry at the Battle of San Jacinto. An enthusiastic supporter of Texas statehood, he named one of his sons Annexus.

Judge Williamson’s many contributions to the Republic and the young state were recognized in 1848. When the citizens of western Milam County petitioned for a new county, his fellow Senators named it in his honor. Although he didn’t live in the area, he traveled it as Judge of the Republic’s Third Judicial Circuit.

On San Jacinto Day, 1891, the original oil painting of this portrait was dedicated in the State Senate Chamber. Lt. Governor George C. Pendleton described Williamson as “the idol of the people…an upright and honest judge who unflinchingly administered the law.” George Clark of Waco declared, “Rome, even in the palmist days of her evolution, never had such a man.”

Text adapted from notes by Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, Georgetown, TX, 1998 Original 1891 portrait hangs in the Senate Chamber of the Texas Capitol Artist: F. deGisaac, Waco, TX; oil on canvas Photo reproduction courtesy of the Sam Bass Centennial Association through the Williamson County Historical Commission

WILLIAMSON, ROBERT M. aka (Three-legged Willie)

Life and Times of Three-Legged Willie

View video clip -
Robert M. Williamson aka 3 legged Willie was one of
earliest leaders of the Texas Rangers

View PDF on history of Three Legged Willie
a special thanks to the Community Impact Newspaper
and Karen Thompson for this article on Robert McAlpin Williamson


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