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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 395-96

MALEY McDONALD *

Civil War Flags.jpg Maley McDONALD, retired farmer, was born in Madison County, Ohio, May 16, 1823. His father, James C. McDONALD, was a son of Thomas McDONALD, a native of Scotland, and was born in Botetourt County, Viriginia. He married in Tennessee, Mary Ann MELVIN, also a native of Virginia, and they removed to Kentucky. About the year 1806 they removed to Ross County, Ohio, and three or four years later to Madison County. They had a large family of children, seven of whom lived to be grown - Mary, born in 1801; George, born in 1803; Phebe, born in 1805; Elizabeth, born in 1808; Charity, born in 1811; John, born in 1814; and Maley, the subject of this sketch.

Mr. McDONALD's early life was spent in assisting his father on the farm and in obtaining he education at the subscription schools. He was married March 9, 1843, to Miss Mary FERGUSON, born in Franklin County, Ohio, November 13, 1824, daughter of Thomas and Mary (BIGGERT) FERGUSON.

He resided in Madison until 1850, when, with wife and three children, he started for Iowa. The first winter he spent in Muscatine, and the following spring removed on a farm five miles west of the city, where he resided four years. May 22, 1855, he arrived in Bloomington Township, Decatur County, and bought a claim of Matthew McCLAIN, paying $200 for the pre-emption. The land is described as follows: South half section 29, southwest section 28, south half northeast 28, west half southeast, south half northeast 28, township 60, range 27 west.

There were living in Bloomington Township at that time about seven families: Mr. McCLAIN, Johnn MERCER, Aaron MYERS, F. M. SCOTT, Widow SCOTT's family, W. M. McDONALD, John WION, and J. K. TAPSCOTT.At one time he owned 1,000 acres. His house was built in 1866 and was sided with black walnut; it was one of the best buildings in the township.

He was extensively engaged in stock-raising, feeding and dealing in stock.

He resided on the old homestead in Bloomington Township until October 29, 1855, when he removed to Kellerton where he has 158 acres of improved land adjoining the town plat. He has a nice residence, built in modern style and well-furnished.

Mr. and Mrs. McDONALD have had four chilren - Margaret Ann, of Tuskeego; George, deceased; E. W., of Tuskeega, and an infant not named.

Mr. McDONALD has served one term as county supervisor under the old law, and three terms as township trustee and assessor.

He is a member of the Odd Fellows order of Decatur City, and politically is an independent Republican.

He started in life without means, but by industry and good management has acquired a fine property. Among the enterprising and successful pioneers of Decatur County, none is better known or more highly esteemed than is Mr. McDONALD, and he is classed among the leading citizens of Ringgold County.

* Maley McDONALD's name was spelled "Malay" in the Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County.

Malay McDONALD , retired farmer was born in Madison County, Ohio, May 16, 1823. His father, James C. McDONALD was a son of Thomas (sic, should be James C.) McDONALD, a native of Scotland, and was born in Botetourt County, Virginia. He married in Tennessee, Mary Ann MELVIN, also a native of Virginia, and they removed to Kentucky. About the year 1806, they removed to Ross County, Ohio, and three or four years later to Madison County. They had a large family of children, seven of whom lived to be grown - Mary, born in 1801; George, born in 1803; Phebe, born in 1805; Elizabeth, born in 1808; Charity born in 1811; John, born in 1814; and Malay, the subject of this sketch. Mr. McDONALD's early life was spent in assisting his father on the farm and in obtaining his education at the subscription schools. He was married March 9, 1843, to Miss Mary FERGUSON, born in Franklin County, Ohio, November 13, 1824, daughter of Thomas and Mary (BIGGERT) FERGUSON. He resided in Madison until 1850, when, with his wife and three children [and cousin William McDONALD} started for Iowa. The first winter he spent in Muscatine and the following spring moved on a farm five miles west of the city, where he resided four years. May 22, 1855, he arrived in Bloomington township, Decatur County, and bought 1 claim of Matthew McCLAIN, paying $200 for the pre-emption. The land is described as follows: South half section 29, southwest section 28, South half northwest 28, west half Southeast, south half northeast 28, township 60, range 27 west. There were living in Bloomington Township at that time about seven families: McCLAIN, John MERCER, Aaron MYERS, F. M. SCOTT, Widow SCOTT's family, W. M. McDONALD, John WION and J. K.TAPSCOTT.

Mr. McDONALD commenced immediately to make permanent improvements.The first house was a lot cabin, 16x16 feet, with sod chimney, that had been erected by Mr. McCLAIN. He improved from tine to tine unti1 the McDONALD farm was known as one of the best improved farms in Decatur County. At one time he owned 1,000 acres. His house was built in 1866 and was sided with black Walnut; it was one of the best buildings in the township. He was extensively engaged in stockraising, feeding and dealing in stock. He resided on the old homestead in Bloomington Township until October, 29, 1855, when he removed to Kellerton where he has 158 acres of improved land adjoining the the town plat. He has a nice residence, built in modern style and well furnished.

Mr. and Mrs. McDONALD have had four children; Margaret Ann, of Tuskeego, George, deceased; E. W., of Tuskeego, and an infant not named.

[Upon the death of their unnamed infant daughter in 1861, Maley and Mary decided to bury the child on the land of one of their neighbors, R. P. LILLIE who had recently interred one of his own children there in 1857, located in Bloomington Township of Decatur County, Iowa. Four years later when Maley and Mary's eldest son George died of wounds received in battle during the Civil War on September 23, 1865, the McDONALDS interred him beside their lost infant daughter. This plot was known at the Lillie Cemetery.]

Mr. McDONALD has served one term as county supervisor under the old law, and three terms as township trustee and assessor. He is a member of the Odd Fellows order of Decatur City, and politically is an independent Republican. He started in life without means, but by industry and good management has acquired a fine property. Among the enterprising and successful pioneers of Decatur County, none is better known than is Mr. McDONALD, and is classed among the leading citizens of Ringgold County.

NOTE: Maley McDONALD died September 8, 1894, at his home in Kellerton, Iowa. He was 71 years of age. Mary (FERGUSON) McDONALD died at the age of 64 years and 26 days. Maley and Mary were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa.

SOURCES:
Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Pp. 394-95, 1887.

Kellerton, Iowa, A History to 1881 1887

American Civil War Soldiers Database, ancestry.com

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.


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