|Birth: ||Dec. 11, 1812|
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Kinship to Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and Edward Bruce, King of Ireland. Citizen of the Republic of Texas. Texas Ranger. In hopes of a better life, William and his family immigrated to the United States in 1818 when he was 5 years old. In 1836 he came alone to Texas with the intent of fighting in the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution, which lasted only eighteen minutes. Santa Anna, the President of Mexico was captured and three weeks later signed the peace treaty which led to the establishment of the Republic of Texas as an independent nation. Bruce, believing the wars were over in Texas, returned home, but came back to Texas with his family in March of 1839 and settled in Nacogdoches County, only to find the newly established Republic was soon to be embroiled in a battle with the Cherokee, Shawnee, Kickapoo and Delaware Indian tribes of Eastern Texas. He joined the Texas Rangers under the command of Captain Alexander Jordan, and for two years served as a "Mounted Ranger" and helped police the rogue Indians of East Texas from the area around Tyler, Texas to present day Van Zandt county. It was in Van Zandt county, at the Neches River, on July 16, 1839, that the battle culminated with Cherokee leader, Chief Bowl being killed. The remainder of the Cherokees and their allies fled Texas to the Arkansas Territory (present day Oklahoma.) The Battle of the Cherokees was over. His first child, daughter Mary Jane, was born in Nacogdoches in 1841 and soon after, Bruce moved his family to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where among other jobs he was Justice of the Peace, Photographer, Postmaster and a tailor. Bruce was elected Colonel Commandant of the 28th Regiment, 1st Brigade in the Arkansas Militia in 1854 and later, at the request of Governor Rector of Arkansas, formed the "Arkadelphia Guards" who were to remain in and for the protection of Arkadelphia. One enlisted in the militia could not "transfer" into the Confederate Army, so Col. Bruce resigned his commission and command as Colonel in the Militia and accepted an appointment by the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, as an Adjutant with the rank of 1st Lieutenant of the 12th Arkansas Infantry. He left the war as a Lieutenant and in 1865, moved back to Texas and opened and operated the first photography studio in the East Texas town of Marshall. He was one of the first photographers in the world to make a plate of the moon. He sired 6 children with Edith, his wife of 50 years. Bruce was preceded in death by three sons. He was originally interred in the Marshall City Cemetery, but later moved to Greenwood when his wife Edith passed away in 1892. He died 1888 and is buried in an unmarked grave in Greenwood Cemetery, Marshall, Harrison County, Texas.
Edith Bruce (1823 - 1892)
Plot: Sec.3, Lot 149 [unmarked]
Created by: Elaine
Record added: Jan 28, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13161669