Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JAMES MACDONALD dwells about
fourteen miles southeast from Sprague and is occupied in farming and stock
raising. Like many of the leading men of the Big Bend country, Mr.
Macdonald came here without any means. By careful attention to business
and making much of the resources here given, he has come to be a wealthy
and prosperous man. His home is a fine story and one-half, eight
room cottage, well supplied with every convenience and surrounded with
everything that makes a place comfortable and attractive. It is the
center of an estate of one thousand and forty acres of excellent wheat
land. In addition to this, Mr. Macdonald owns a section and one-half
of pasture land and handles a section and a half to wheat. He owns
nearly two hundred head of cattle, plenty of horses for the carrying on
of his large estate and all machinery necessary.
James Macdonald was born in county Antrim,
Ireland, on December 12, 1848, the son of Alexander and Isabella (McCapin)
Macdonald, natives also of that county, where they both died, the father
in 1867 and the mother in 1894. James received his educational training
during the first thirteen years of his life then assisted his father on
the farm, after which he went to the city of Belfast and engaged as clerk
in a grocery store, retaining that position for nine years. In April,
1870, he sailed from Glasgow, Scotland, to New York by way of Quebec, Canada.
For a time he operated in a lumber yard in the metropolis of America, then
went to Lehigh county, Pennsylvania and wrought in the iron works for six
years. After this he journeyed to Nashua, New Hampshire, and wrought
two years in the machine shops. Then he determined to come west and
accordingly journeyed to the Big Bend country via San Francisco.
For two years, he was fireman on the Northern Pacific here then took a
homestead where he now resides. Mr. Macdonald has one brother
and two sisters, Isabella and May, living with him, and Thomas A., deceased,
who was a machinist on the Northern Pacific for fifteen years.
In addition to the property mentioned, Mr. Macdonald owns a half interest
in a threshing machine outfit which does a good business each year in the
Fraternally, he is a member of the Masons,
while in religious persuasions he belongs to the Episcopal church.
Mr. Macdonald has great reason to take pride in the labors he has performed
in this country and the success which he has achieved, while also he has
so conducted himself that he has won the good will of all who know him
and is considered one of the leading men of this part of the country.