Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ALEXANDER McDONALD. The veterans of the great Union army that saved the nation from disruption during its darkest period should be justly proud of what they have done for succeeding generations, having left an inheritance of which we should be very grateful; indeed we owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never pay. Now that the "sunset of life" is upon them and the "grand army of the republic" is continuously marching across the "great divide" to join the "phantom army of the silent land," let us of the aftermath accord them every courtesy and honor, and prove our gratitude for what they have achieved while we have the opportunity. One of this worthy number is Alexander McDonald, who has a long successful business record here, having conducted a grocery store in the same locality on West Commercial street, Springfield, for a period of over a quarter of a century.
Mr. McDonald was born in Morgan county Illinois, June 21, 1844. He is a son of William McDonald, who was owner of a large farm in the, above named county and state and a well-known citizen there up to his death, which occurred many years ago. On this farm our subject was reared until he was seventeen years of age, obtaining in the meantime a meager education in the old-time subscription schools. Then the Civil war began, and although a mere boy, he enlisted in the First Missouri Cavalry, at Jacksonville, Illinois, under Capt. Barber Lewis, of Company G, and he proved to be an efficient and brave soldier. He was first sent to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, then to Tipton, Missouri, later coming to Springfield with Gen. Fremont's army, in October, 1861, and served in this part of the state under the dashing Maj. Charles Zagonyi, and in February, 1862, as in the battle at Springfield when Price retreated, our subject's regiment being the first to raise the Stars and Stripes over the court house. They followed Price to Sugar creek, Arkansas, where another battle was fought, twelve men being lost in our subject's company. About a week later he was in the two days' battle at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, where some five hundred of his comrades fell. From Pea Ridge they went to Helena, that state, then back into Missouri, but later were sent to Little Rock and there engaged in a skirmish. Mr. McDonald was mustered out and honorably discharged at St. Louis, in August, 1865, after a faithful service of four years, during which he was not wounded, sick or a prisoner. Soon thereafter he went to Jacksonville, Illinois, and took a position as superintendent of the Jacksonville Woolen Mills Company, with which he remained for a period of nine years, giving the firm eminent satisfaction in ever respect. He then went to Bonaparte, Van Buren county, Iowa where he was superintendent of the Meek Brothers' Woolen Mills for some time, later going to Lewiston, Illinois, where he continued in the woolen mill business, spending in all twenty-one years in that line of endeavor, and was a master of this business, which was an important industry in the Middle West a generation ago. In 1888 Mr. McDonald came to Springfield, Missouri, and for about six months was manager of the Springfield Woolen Mills, which was at that time "tottering to the fall." He then engaged in the grocery business on West Commercial street, and this he has continued at the same locality to the present time, enjoying a large, and lucrative trade all the while, owing to his honest and courteous treatment of his hundreds of regular customers. He has always carried a large and well-selected stock of staple and fancy groceries.
Mr. McDonald was married in Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1869, to Elizabeth Wilson a daughter of James and Jane Wilson, a highly respected old family of Jacksonville. They became the parents of six children, three of whom survive; they were named as follows: William is deceased; Sarah is the wife of Capt. J. A. Rutherford; Elizabeth, wife of Mr. McDonald, our subject; Samuel is deceased; James is living in Long Beach, California; Anna married a Mr. Buces, and they live in Seattle, Washington.
To Mr. and Mrs. McDonald one child has been born, Mary M., born in Jacksonville. She married Fred Garrett and they live here, Mr. Garrett being engaged in the shoe business.
Politically, Mr. McDonald is a Republican, but he has never aspired to office. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, and to the Woodmen of the World. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. She belongs to the Saturday Club.
Springfield-Greene County Library