Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


W. B. McDonald

The adversities of life are what develop the potential qualities in a man's character. and that W. B. McDonald has met and overcome the obstacles that beset his path during his early career demonstrates the fact that he possesses those elements that make for success.

Born in Cattaraugus county, New York, March 6, 1860, he is a son of John and Mary Elizabeth (West) McDonald. The father died when the subject of this review was quite young and the record of his birth has been lost. There were three children in the family, of whom two survive: W. B., and Euphemia, who became the wife of E. E. Newkirk and lives in Kenwood, Iowa.

When but six years old W. B. McDonald left New York state and went to Richland county, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1869, and in that year came to Iowa, locating in Cedar county, where he sought such education as was afforded in the public schools near Stanwood. In the fall of 1879 he removed to a farm near Glidden, Carroll county, and remained there for three or four years. He then came to Crawford county and lived in Boyer township for two years, at the expiration of which time he took up his residence in Union township and has since continued to make that his home. In 1906 he purchased a tract of improved land on sections 32 and 33 from Reuben Vorl', who had moved on it in the early '50S, and a year later Mr. McDonald took possession of his property, to which he has gradually made additions until now he owns two hundred and eighty acres of the best farming land in Iowa and here follows general farming, besides handling blooded stock.

The marriage of Mr. McDonald took place March 20, 1886, when he was united to Miss Sarah Ellen Langley, who was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, a daughter of G. W. and Nancy J. (Gearheart) Langley, both natives of Ohio. Her father was a carpenter by trade and moved west when she was a young girl, locating in Story county, Iowa. In 1880 he came to Crawford county, resided for some time in Dunlap and subsequently bought a farm in Boyer township. Both he and his wife are still living and make their home in Dow City.

Unto them seven children were born, namely: Margaret Elizabeth, who is the wife of Charles Rasmussen and lives in Ainsworth, Nebraska; Walter and Jay, also of Ainsworth, Nebraska; Sarah Ellen; Clement, of Enders Lake, Nebraska; Ethel, who is the wife of Frank Bennall, residing in Union township; and Bessie, who married George Bennall and makes their home in Dow City.

Mrs. McDonald's elementary education was obtained in the public schools of Story county and Dunlap, supplemented by a course in a high school, and by the knowledge thus acquired she was enabled to become a teacher, which vocation she followed for three years, one term of which was spent in Boyer township and the remainder of the time in Willow township. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald are the parents of three children: Nellie, who is the wife of Fred Wiley and resides in Union township; Ward and Carl Frederick, who are at home.

Mr. McDonald's political allegiance is given to the democratic party and fraternally he is a member of the Yeoman, of Dow City. His wife holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. His record goes to show what may be accomplished by one who starts out in the world empty-handed if he has the determination and energy to apply to a high purpose.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.