California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
DAVIS DONALD came to Redlands in 1890, and with his father, D. M. Donald, formed one of the first contracting firms to contribute to the upbuilding of Redlands. He was born in Norwich, Ontario, Canada, May 23, 1865, his father, Daniel McIntosh Donald, being a native of Scotland, his mother, a Canadian. Mr. and Mrs. D. M. Donald came to Redlands in pioneer days, where Mr. Donald's brother was the first Presbyterian minister, the church at that time being where the Kingsbury School now stands.
Mr. Donald, senior, was a well known contractor in Canada, and when his son joined him here they started a business that has lasted over thirty years, and have built many of the finest homes and most substantial buildings in the city, including the A. K. Smiley Public Library, the Presbyterian Church, the Redlands National Bank, the Columbia Building and many others.
Mr. Donald's wife, Mrs. Agnes McMurchie Donald, followed him to Redlands in 1891, and their two sons, James and Gordon, were born here and received their education in the local schools and the university. Both volunteered for service in the great war. James Donald enlisted November 28, 1917, in the Quartermaster's Corps, and was stationed at Fort McDowell, then at Benicia Arsenal, and was discharged May 10, 1919. He is a department manager for Allen Wheaton, and married in September, 1920, Miss Clara Brown, of Oregon. Gordon Donald, the younger son, enlisted in the air service December 10, 1917, and was sent to Fort McDowell, then to Kelly Field and Ellington Field, Texas, and lastly to Wilbur Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, where he was an instructor in aerial gunnery. He was mustered out February 21, 1919, and on October 23, 1920, married Miss Estelle Hurd, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is associated with his father in the building and contracting business, and they operate their own shop, equipped with the most modern wood-working machinery, where they build fine cabinet work, as well as manufacture interior trim and finish for all their own work. They are also engaged in making a full line of concrete brick, blocks and roofing tile for modern fire-proof residence construction.
Mr. Donald has watched the growth of Redlands from a tiny village to a modern up-to-date community, and, like all those who were here in the early days, is a firm believer in the future growth of the city. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, of the Redlands Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of the Redlands Rotary Club, and both he and Mrs. Donald are active members of the First Presbyterian Church.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011