He was born while his family was on its way to Texas from Georgia. Someone has said he was born in Mississippi. However, William is found in the household of his son, James, in the 1880 Census of E.D. 17, Cherokee Co., TX. He lists his age as 45 and that he was born in MS. I'm wondering if his age should not be 55. William does not list his parents birthplaces (at least they are not in the transcription I saw of the census). Son William is also in James's household. Both of William's sons, James and William, says that their parents were born in MS.
At the time of his father's death he was 15 or 16. Information from the Pinckney Lout probate records indicates that he did receive some education in his youth. He appeared on the tax rolls of San Augustine, Texas until 1858 and is next found in Orange County, Texas in 1860 listed as "Wm. Burdine." He served in the CSA and was discharged from the same in Tupelo, Mississippi. He appeared on the Census of 1870 in Centerville, Leon County, Texas. Other information says he died in San Augustine County, Texas.
Wanda Price (pricetag at lcc.net) says that William Bodine stood trial for the killing of his son-in-law, James Sanders. She sent me some information from the journal of Mary Louisa (English) Phillips, the daughter of Winnie Bodine and Thomas English, which I have edited below:
1876 ... Mary Louisa English and her family went to Nacogdoches to spend Christmas. Aunt Holly was sick. She was married to a man named Jim Saunders. He was mean to her and she went back home to Grandpa (William R.) Bodine to live. When their boy was about eleven or twelve, Jim wanted him back. He tried several times to steal him; so Grandpa took charge of him and always took his gun with him. Grandpa went to Douglass to do Christmas shopping and Jim was in town drinking and telling everyone he knew that he was going to kill Grandpa. Grandpa stopped at a store and the merchant told Grandpa that Jim was in town and was going to kill him, but Grandpa wasn't afraid of him. He went all over town shopping and when he went back to where he left his gun, Jim followed. When Grandpa came out of the store with his gun to go home, Jim was in front of the store with pistol in hand. Grandpa raised his gun and Jim shot at him. The bullet struck Grandpa's coat sleeve and grazed his arm and the barrell of Grandpa's gun fell to the sidewalk. Jim pulled the trigger of his gun again, but it snapped and he jumped behind a square board just as Grandpa raised his gun and broke Jim's neck. He fell backward out in the street. Of course, there was a crowd gathered around and Grandpa told them to call the Law. The Law took him to jail and some friends took the wagon and groceries home and told what happened. The next morning the Law summoned Aunt Holly to court to testfy. They put bedding in the wagon and took her to Douglass. Grandpa made bond and came home with her and either that night or the next night she died. She must have died of a broken heart or from shock. Mary Louisa's father, Thomas Bennett English, and the rest of the family (including Mary) went back to Trinity after the funeral. Grandpa (William) Bodine's trial was moved to the county seat, Nacogdoches, where he was aquitted.
Wanda said that was what the journal said. Otherwise, she didn't have any other info on this event. In the journal, there is much about English and related families, their moves and their early lives. Mary Louisa English's mother was Winnie Isabel Bodine who was married to Thomas Bennett English. She was a sister to Wanda's great-grandmother Sarah Verdia English Jones. This journal was given to one of Wanda's aunts by the Phillips family that lived in San Antonio. There are not many pages left, maybe thirteen legal size pages. It's a prize keepsake of their family.
From Ronny Bodine:
At the time of his father's death he was 15 or 16. Information from the Pinckney Lout probate records indicates that he did receive some education in his youth. He appeared on the tax rolls of San Augustine, Texas until 1858 and is next found in Orange County, Texas in 1860 listed as "Wm. Burdine." He served in the CSA with Company C, 27th Regiment, Texas Cavalry, along with the 2 sons of his brother O.H.P. Bodine, and was discharged from the same in Tupelo, Mississippi. He appears on the 1870 census of Leon County, Texas as 'Wm. Bodon,' age 45, born in Louisiana. In 1880, he was living with his son James Bodine in Cherokee County, Texas. It appears that James must have provided the census information giving his father's age as 45 as opposed to his actual age of about 57.