DUNCAN McRAE, a farmer and at one time county superintendent of schools in Tarrant county, making his home in Fort Worth, is a native of Tennessee, his birth having occurred in Maury county, on the 22d of September, 1845. His paternal grandfather, Alexander McRae, was born in Scotland, and on coming to America settled in North Carolina, where occurred the birth of his son, Duncan McRae, who in his boyhood days accompanied his parents on their removal to Tennessee, the family home being established in Maury county, where Duncan McRae continued to reside throughout his remaining days. He became a substantial agriculturist of that locality. His wife was born in that county and was a sister of R. R. Raimey, who came to Texas from Tennessee in 1836 to assist the struggling revolutionists in the achievement of independence from Mexico. He was with General Fannin’s command and was killed in the battle of Goliad.
Duncan McRae was reared to farm life and acquired his early education in the public schools of Maury county, while later he pursued his studies at Moore’s Institute, in Mooresville, Tennessee. He was a young man of eighteen years when in 1864 he responded to the call of the Confederacy, enlisting in Company F, First Tennessee Cavalry. With that command he went to Georgia, joining General Joe Johnston’s army and was in all of the fighting that constituted the siege and battle of Atlanta, continuing with Johnston’s army until its surrender in North Carolina. He was also in the hotly contested engagement of New Hope Church, which preceded the battle of Atlanta.
When the war was ended Mr. McRae returned to his home in Maury county, Tennessee, where he began farming and later he was likewise identified with merchandising, carrying on both pursuits until the latter part of 1876, when, determining to establish his home in Texas, where he believed he might enjoy better business advantages, he came to Tarrant county on the 1st of January, 1877. Here he has since resided. He began farming at Johnson’s Station, four miles south of Arlington, and later he located at Handley, while in 1897 he established his home in Polytechnic Heights, Fort Worth, where he has since lived. Not long after his arrival in Tarrant county he began teaching, and continued in the profession for several years in connection with the management of his agricultural interests. He first taught at Johnson’s Station and later at other places in Tarrant county — Handley, Mansfield, Smithfield and Keller, and in 1894 he was elected county superintendent of schools, which position he filled for six years, being elected for three consecutive terms and then retired from the office as he had entered it — with the confidence and good will of all concerned. Since that time he has not been actively connected with the teacher’s profession save that he takes a most earnest interest in educational affairs in Tarrant county, assisting in county institutes and in other ways lending his influence to maintain a high standard of the schools, and promote the intellectual development of the locality. He is the owner of one of the finest farms in Tarrant county, comprising more than four hundred acres lying along the interurban railroad within three miles of Arlington. This tract is under a high state of cultivation and is well equipped with modern improvements, indicating the careful supervision and practical and progressive methods of the owner.
Mr. McRae was married in Williamson county, Tennessee, September 7, 1869, to Miss Fannie Crowe, a daughter of Thomas A. Crowe, Esq., of Williamson county, Tennessee. She died June 14, 1903, survived by a daughter and three sons, namely: Willie, the wife of J. W. Smith; Duncan Crowe; Edward and Walter Thomas. Mr. McRae is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and is interested in the material, intellectual and moral development of the community, co-operating along these lines for general improvement and up building.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 159-160.