Donald McDonald was born in "West Canada", believed to be near Niagra
Falls, Ontario on 23 Dec 1788. he spent his early years in Canada and was a
British Soldier in the Battle of Lundy's Lane, fought in the Niagra Falls area.
He seved as a captain. He was a Scotsman by descent and a devout
Catholic his entire life. He went to Georga by 1820.
He was one of the first non-spanish or non-mexican settlers in East Texas. He came
overland through Georgia, having received permission from the Governor of Georgia
to pass through the state. He arrived in Louisiana first and crossed into
Texas by way of Gaines Ferry into Sabine Co., Texas. He worked on the ferry
for a couple of years and married the daughter of John Maximillian, Sr. before 1825.
His wife was named Maria Louisa Maximillian who lived with her father at LoBonillo
Ranch, the first deeded ranch in East Texas "no man's land" between Spain
and French Louisian Territory. The first census of Texas (1829-1836) lists
Donald McDonald with a wife "Larissa" and children, Mary, Duncan and
Nancy. After this census she presented him at least three other children named
Alexander, John and David. She passed away after 1846 and before 1850.
Donald settled along the Ayish Bayou just south of present San Augustine, Texas. He
had a mill along the Bayou, and was co-owner of the county's first saw mill with
Wyatt Hanks, a close relative of nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln. He
had at least two timber surveys in Sabine Co., Texas. One tract was
located at the site of the present town of Bronson, and the second was at the site
of the present town of Brookeland, also in Sabine County.
In 1832 Donald McDonald was one of five delegates from the Ayish Bayou who were
selected to represent the "settlement" at the convention held on the
first Monday in October at the town of San Felipe de Austin, where the setttlers
sought to have the state of Texas made separate from the State of Coahuila.
The failure of these attempts to get redress from the Spanish government
caused the Texas Revolution.
In 1836, when the revolution was getting under way Donald McDonald was appointed a
commissioner under John G. Love. The function of Donald McDonald and two
other commissioners was to enlist militia in San Augustine for the remaining period
of the Revolution. Two companies were sent to the San Jacinto campaign, but
arrived to late for the battle. They later participated in other uprisings,
however, and many stayed and became a part of Texas.
In 1856 he was elected sheriff of San Augustine Co., Texas and served two terms.
This was his last public service for the State of Texas.
Although Donald McDonald was a Catholic who never renounced his faith he was also a
Master Mason, and one of thirteen Master Masons who founded Red Land Lodge #24
also known as Red Land Lodge #3. He was a Mason for 50 years.
Donald is found on the 1880 San Augustine Co., Texas census. 91 years old, living with his
son-in-law, W.A. McClanahan, whose wife was Nancy. He was a widow. He had
been married 2nd time to Martha Lomax and 3rd time to Elizabeth Hightower.
Donald McDonald spent his remaining days at the old homeplace about three miles south
of San Augustine, Texas. He lived with his daughter, Nancy and her husband at
the residence. He appeared in the 1880 census although his tombstone
located near his homestead states that he was deceased in 1865. This stone appears
to have been erected recently.
The HOUSTON DAILY POST printed his obituary on May 8, 1884, page 3 column 5, stating
"The old veteran Donald McDonald, whose severe illness was mentioned in my last
to the Post" died on the evening of the 2nd instant and will be buried today
at the family buring ground south of town, about five miles. Uncle Mac, as he was
familiarly called, was a good man, and after a life spent in the service of Texas
and her interests he has gone to his rest, having lived 95 years, 4 mos, and 10
days. He was a Canadian by birth, and a Scotsman by descent, and baptized a
Roman Catholic and died in that faith. He was a British Soldier at the battle
of Lundy's lane, and after peace he became a citizen of this government,
Coahuila and Texas first, then the Republic of Texas and afterward the State
of Texas. To the flags of all he was true and faithful. He was fifty
years a member of the Order of A.F. &A. Masons, being a member of Red Land
Lodge #3, at this place, after his death a member of Rising Star Chapter of Rising
Arch Masons hero at his demise. While he never renounced the faith of his
church, he adhered with an extreme devotion to the principle of Free Masonry.
He was honest, brave and generous, and was always in line when necessary to
uphold and vindicate the right and the law. After nearly a century's devotion
he has been gathered to this fathers."
This information was compiled by Paul Pendergrass, a Great Great Grandson of
Submitted by Rhonda McDonald Redding
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