Donald McDonald

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 Donald  McDonald.

Submitted by Rhonda McDonald Redding

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This Site last updated on Wednesday, May 30, 2007

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