David W. McDannald was born on September 22, 1851, in Mount Sterling,Brown County, IL.
David was 14 years old when he crossed the plains in 1865, settling with his mother and father in the Walla Walla Valley, Oregon, which was later named Milton-Freewater, Oregon. While a young man there, he won a state wide penmanship contest. He was later to teach penmanship in California. After 5 years in Oregon, he traveled to southern California where he met and married his first cousin, Lucetta Reeves, May 10, 1875. By 1880, he and Lucetta had moved back to Oregon with their first two children, Lorena, 3, and Beryl, 1. They would eventually have eight children.
Their last child, Lynn, was born 1893 in Oregon. Around 1987, they left Oregon and moved to Orange County, where they were living in 1900 with their six youngest children, John, 19 ("Papa Mac"; "Uncle Jack"), Eugene, 15, Mary, 13 ("Aunt Mary"), Rex, 9, Gladys, 8 ("Grandma Jessee"), and Linn, 6.
David first engaged in farming; eventually he became the Orange County representative on the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and went on to serve on many C of C's in California. He was the instigator of the now famous therapeutic hot baths in St. Helena where he had gone to visit his youngest son, Lynn. He was also a booster for the Grape Day Festival in Escondido, California, being a President of that Chamber of Commerce for three years.
Around 1905, on the 50th anniversary of the McDannald wagon train trip, David wrote "Crossing the Plains", a journal of the trip, probably based on his father's diary, as the daily location detail are very specific.
In 1915, he wrote the booklet "Eternal Spring", a pamphlet about Orange County for the 1915 Worlds Fair in San Francisco.
He took displays of commercial possibilities to the big Los Angeles County fairs to lure investment in Escondido. He successfully introduced the silk culture into Escondido, which lasted until nylon came into fashion.
His grandchildren especially remember him for introducing them to the love of flowers and gardens.
He died 08 May 1926, Santa Ana, California at the age of 75.
After his death, his wife, Lucetta ("Grandma Mac"), moved to a cottage in Cardiff, California, where she continued to grow beautiful gardens.