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John A. McDonald
Born April 8, 1861


All the strong qualities of his sturdy Scotch forebears have had a part in making John A. McDonald one of the substantial men of Jones county and one of the farmers of unequivocal success in Madison township, where his farm of two hundred and fifty acres lies. A native of this township, he was born April 8, 1861, and is a son of Andrew and Margaret (Smith) McDonald, both natives of Perthshire, Scotland, who as young people came with their parents to the United States about 1855. John McDonald, a brother of Andrew McDonald, had preceded the families to thiscountry by some five years. He had not come to Iowa directly, however although he located in Jones county before the arrival of his parents and here had bought large tracts of land from the government. On this, which is the farm now occupied by John A. McDonald, the family located. Subsequent to their marriage Andrew McDonald and his wife acquired a place to the west of their son's present farm, and there spent the active years of their life, until they retired to Center Junction, where their deaths occurred in 1906, the father's at the age of seventy years, the mother's at the age of seventy-six. Reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church they passed away attended by its consolations, for their lives had been spent in strict conformance to its doctrines. In the years he had lived here, Andrew McDonald had become one of the well known men of Jones county, having held the position of commissioner for a number of years and for six or seven years having been steward of the poor farm. His duties he ever fulfilled with honor and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.
John A. McDonald had the advantage of sound home training under the guidance of his parents, and in the public schools acquired such instruction as he could obtain in the rudiments of an English education. When he attained his majority he began his life as a farmer upon his own responsibility. For one year he rented from his uncle the farm he now owns and then removed to his father's land which he operated as a renter for about twenty-four years. In 1907, the old McDonald homestead was deeded to him by his uncle John and he removed to it and has since made it his home. Here he has engaged very extensively in the cattle business, buying cattle in large numbers and putting into his fields to feed upon the abundant grass. His operations, which have been guided by a clear-headed business policy, have been attended with marked success and have won for him a conspicuous position among the cattle men of Jones county.
In 1889 Mr. McDonald married Miss Esther Reed, of Madison township and to them nine children have been born: Guy A., a mail carrier of Center Junction, Iowa; John W., who died in 1909; Clifford F., of Center junction; and Elizabeth M., Ethel M., Lulu B., Maggie E., Andrew R., and Scott B., all at home. The family have been reared in the faith of their parents, and are faithful in their attendance on the services of the Presbyterian church. Fraternally, Mr. McDonald is connected with the Center junction Lodge, NO. 711, I.0.0.F., and with the Center junction Camp, No. 892, M.W.A., and is prominent in both organizations. On the occasions of elections he invariably casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party, but he is not active politically nor is he an aspirant for office.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 384.

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