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.
DONALD F. McKAY is one of the
earliest pioneers of the territory now included in Lincoln county. 1880
is the year in which he wended his way into this then uninhabited region
and selected a homestead three miles southwest from where Creston now stands.
He took also a timber culture claim and at once went to work improving
the land. It was difficult to make a living on the land in those
days, and for some time he was forced, as other settlers were, to go out
to other places and earn money to buy provisions. Not to be daunted,
however, he continued industriously and assiduously in the work and soon
began to get good returns from his land. From that time to the present
he has labored as one of the thrifty farmers and has now a good estate
and is prospered.
Donald F. McKay was born in Ontario, Canada,
on July 16, 1854, the son of John and Mary (Farres) McKay. The father
was born in Scotland and there learned the trade of stone cutting.
When young, he married in Scotland then came to Ontario and settled down.
His family remained on a farm and he followed his trade more or less.
The mother was a native of Scotland. While our subject was still
an infant, he was left fatherless and soon thereafter his mother died also.
Thus deprived of the care and direction of parents at the time they are
sorely needed, he was forced to meet the trying hardships of the world
largely alone. Being without means, he had to work for a living and
so had very little opportunity to attend schools. However, he was
industrious in personal research and has stored his mind by careful reading
since. Mr. McKay continued in Canada until 1879, then traveled a
year in the west, visiting the centers of the Pacific coast. In the
fall of that year he landed in Walla Walla, and the next spring came on
to the Big Bend. He selected his present estate as a proper one and
settled to work as stated above. He worked on the construction of
the Northern Pacific, in addition to improving his farm, and his industry
has been rewarded in a good holding of property at this time.
In 1892, Mr. McKay married Miss Ida R. Wonch,
a resident of Medical Lake, and her death occurred in 1901. The second
marriage of Mr. McKay was consummated when Sarah M. Stambough, of Creston,
became his wife. They are respected people and stand well in the
community, having shown qualities of worth and uprightness. They
have one child, Ina Ruth.