William August McRae was born at St. David, Cochise County, Arizona, 5 October 1891, the second son of Joseph and Augusta Erickson McRae. His Mother moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, about 1892, and from there to Thatcher, Arizona about 1895. He lived in Thatcher except for the years 1903 to 1906 when the family lived in St. David. He attended public schools at Thatcher and was graduated from the Gila College (formerly the L.D.S. Academy) at Thatcher in 1911. He worked on the farm during the summer months and cleaned school buildings during the months he was attending school.
He worked as a timekeeper at Hayden during the construction of the smelter in 1911 and 1912. He returned to Thatcher, and from the middle of the year until December of 1923, was employed in the banking business. In 1924, he moved to Phoenix where he continued studying law, being admitted to the bar in 1933. From August of 1933 until May, 1954, he was an officer in the Internal Revenue Service. He resigned to enter private practice, where he was engaged in general practice although he was rated as a tax consultant and was favorably known as a "friend of the taxpayer."
He was baptized at Thatcher, Arizona, on 3 March 1900 and was ordained a Deacon at the age of twelve. Later he was ordained a Teacher and a Priest. He was married 18 September 1920 to Laura Zelma Morris at Safford, Arizona, where they resided until they moved to Phoenix. He was ordained an Elder in 1921, and he and his wife were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on 12 October 1921. He was ordained a Seventy by Elder Joseph W. McMurrin; and ordained a High Priest by Elder Stephen L. Richards in September 1939. He served as Stake Superintendent of Sunday Schools from 1946 to 1950, and was continually engaged in Sunday School work as an officer or teacher or Stake Board member for more than twenty-five years.
He was a part-time instructor in the Extension Department of Arizona State University at Tempe, Arizona for two years, teaching Federal Income Tax courses.
He and his wife had three children: Jean, now Mrs. Charles L. Hardy; Joyce, now Mrs. George C. Bennion; and a son, Robert Morris McRae.
William August McRae passed away in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona on 7 October 1973, and was buried on October 10th at Thatcher, Arizona.