WILSON, SR., WILL REID (1912-2005) ~ Will Reid Wilson, Sr. was born on July 29, 1912, in Dallas, Texas to Will R. and Kate Wilson. Growing up in Dallas, he graduated from Highland Park High School and continued his education at the University of Oklahoma, obtaining a degree in geology, but then decided he would try law. He attended the law school at Southern Methodist University where he was first in his class and was named Distinguished Graduate.
After graduation, he became a lawyer with the firm Turner, Rogers, and Wynn and served as aide to Dallas mayor Woodall Rogers; whose term was from 1939-1947. Will then went on to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas. In addition to serving the state, Will served his country by joining the United States Army during World War II. He obtained the rank of Major. He served in New Guinea and in the Philippines, where he was on the staff of Generals Kruger and I.P. Swift and he was the Battalion Commander of the 465th Field Artillery as well. Will accepted the surrender of General Yamashitas staff and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in combat by General I.P. Swift. After the war, Will returned to Dallas and to law.
He was elected as District Attorney of Dallas County, where he served two terms from 1946 to 1950. After his final term, he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court, where he served as an Associate Justice from 1950 to 1956. Will was then elected to serve as Attorney General to the State of Texas from January 1, 1957 to January 15, 1963.
Will was awarded the Wymann Memorial Award for 1959-1960 as the Outstanding Attorney General in the United States. After an unsuccessful race for the U.S. Senate and for Texas governor, Will co-founded the law firm, Wilson, Kendall, Koch, and Randall in Austin, Texas. He went on to serve as Assistant Attorney General of the United States from 1969 to 1971, in Nixon?s administration under Attorney General John Mitchell. As Assistant General he was in charge of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. He left just before the Watergate break-in.
Despite all his law and military credentials, Will?s love of family and ranching stood above them all. His wife, Marjorie Lou Ashcroft Wilson of 36 years, preceeded him in death. They had two children and five grandchildren. He attended every one of his grandson?s Austin High School football games. His love of ranching was exemplified through his ranches at Brushy Creek in Williamson County and Little River Ranch in Milam County. He served as director of the Brushy Creek WCID and Upper Brushy Creek WCID for two decades. He was also Chairman of the Cullum and Boren Company and of the Wilson Land and Cattle Company.
Will could spin a tale like a true Texas cowboy, keeping friends and family entertained. His talent for storytelling shined through in his book A Fool For A Client which focused on President Nixon?s decline and impeachment.
Will Wilson, Sr. passed away on December 14, 2005, at the age of 93 and was interred in the Texas State Cemetery three days later.