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Charles McDonald


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/6/2001 at 11:00:23

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties 1890
Charles McDonald, deceased, is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Van Buren County, and at his death, which occurred in 1877, much sorrow was felt; for the community lost a good citizen, his neighbors a kind friend, and his family a loving husband and father. He was born in the North of Ireland, in 1813, but the family is of Scotch origin. When he was a mere child his father died, and in 1818, with the other members of the family, he was brought by his mother to this country, they taking up their residence in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He there acquired a limited education, and when a young man learned the trade of a plasterer. He was married in Philadelphia Pennsylvania to Martha McGarvey, and shortly afterward immigrated to La Grange Missouri where he followed his trade for some years. His next place of residence was in Quincy Illinois after which he made a settlement in Ft. Madison Iowa, and in 1847 purchased land in Van Buren County, and here removed in order to rear his family upon a farm. Mr. McDonald came to the West in limited circumstances, and not only overcame the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life, but surmounted all obstacles, which impeded his progress toward the goal of prosperity. He performed the not easy task of developing from the wild land a rich and fertile farm, and at the same time carried on his trade of plastering. He had no leisure time in those days, but gave his attention solely to his business, that he might provide for the wants of his family and surround them with all the comforts possible.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. McDonald were born ten children, of whom the following lived to adult age: Maggie, wife of James Dick, a prominent farmer of Lee County, Iowa; Mattie, at home; Ella, wife of Charles E. Rau, of Mason City, Iowa; Archibald, a resident of Bonaparte; Colwell, a farmer of Harrisburg Township; Charles W., who makes his home in Council Bluffs; and Robert, who is also living in Harrisburg Township. Helen died at the age of nineteen; and other town members of the family died in childhood.
In politics Mr. McDonald was a stanch Democrat, was well posted in political affairs, and could always hold his own in an argument, but never sought public office for himself. He was a man of more that average ability, was well informed concerning all questions of general import, and was familiar with many of our standard authors. He was especially fond of reading Burns, and could quote page after page of his writings. In his views he was charitable; in his dealings, upright and honorable and his word was as good as his bond. He died at his home in this County in 1877, respected by all who knew him. His wife, who was a most estimable lady, and the equal of his husband in literary attainments, also has many warm friends.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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