Bill was born on the family farm in Bloomington, Texas on the Traylor Ranch. His family worked for the Traylors and Bauers all their lives and Bill continued the tradition working on the Traylor Ranch for almost fifty years. He came from a typically big cowboy family of six boys and three girls. His mother was a Harvey, a family that supplied many, many cowboys to all the ranches in the Texas Coastal Bend. His grandfather, Will Charleston, known as “Big Six”, was a well-known cowboy on the area ranches. He was proud of his family’s connection to the land and their reputation as tophands.
Pete Brown - That's right! You just love it!
Bill Charleston - Get up early in the morning. Come in late at night. It was a pleasure to me just ridin' a good horse. I love to get out there and work 'em. I got to dreaming one night a cow got at me up here on this head, and I jumped over the fence and I went to bed and went to dreamin' 'bout… But I thought I was kickin' 'em and kicked my wife plum out of the bed! I did! That old cow was after me!
Bud Harvey - It happened that way sometime.
Bill Charleston – Well, Buddy, you enjoying the conversation?
Will King - Oh yeah.
Bill Charleston – I got to go milk a wild cow after dinner.