Hon. Mark. L. McDonald, a Californian of forty-five years' standing, has been identified with the financial and industrial interests of the state for many years and is accounted one of hte foremost citizens. He has been very successful in his private business, and from a beginning comparatively insignificant has become the possessor of a large property and gained a place of prominence among the financiers of the Pacific coast. Mr. McDonald is a broad-minded character, with an energy and enterprise which influences everything and everybody with whom he has relations, and he has also been identified with much that has made for the public welfare of his city and state. Santa Rosa will, in particular, always hold him in esteem for the many enterprises of a public nature to which he has given his aid or been foremost in conducting.
Mr. McDonald was born in Mackville, Washington county, Kentucky, May 5, 1833, and was a son of Colonel James and Martha (Peters) McDonald. His father was a farmer and stock-raiser in the noted bluegrass regions of Kentucky, and was a prominent man in local and state affairs. Mark L. McDonald was reared on his father's place, and after completing his education in the local schools went to Union College, at Schenectady, New York. In 1859 he brought his parents across the plains to California, and his identification with the state has been continuous since that year. Both his parents died in California, his father in Sacramento, and his mother in 1883, in San Francisco.
His first work on coming to this state was with a railroad company from which his brother had a contract for building grades across the mountains. He served in the capacity of engineer for his brother. He later came to San Francisco, and became a stock broker in the stock board. The brokerage firm of McDonald and Whitney was for twenty years one of the best known of its kind in San Francisco, and had a prosperous existence. Mr. McDonald was also a member of the state board of horticulture, and is at present a member of the state board of trade.
At the time of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago he was appointed by President Cleveland a national World's Fair commissioner at large, and was a member of the committee on permanent organization. He helped organize the board of lady managers, which took such a prominent part in the fair, and it was due to his efforts that each state secured representation on this board. He appointed Mrs. Potter Palmer a member of this board, and she was elected its president.
Mr. McDonald has a magnificent home in Santa Rosa. It is situated on a hundred and sixty acre tract just outside the town limits. Twenty-five acres are devoted to fruit trees, and he has on his place trees from all parts of the world, each state and country being represented by a characteristic tree.
Mr. McDonald built the water works of Santa Rosa, and also laid out an addition to the city of one hundred and sixty acres. he also built the street railroad in Santa Rosa. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masonic order, and has taken the Knight Templar degrees.
He was married in 1864 to Miss Ralphine North, a daughter of Judge R. North, of Natchez, Mississippi. They have five children: M. L., Jr., mentioned below; Steward McD., Mabel, Edith May and Florence.
M. L. McDonald, Jr., was born in San Francisco, June 6, 1868, and attended the Urban and Trinity schools of that city. He graduated in the class of '90 from Princeton University, and then returned to Santa Rosa. He attended to some interests at the World's Fair, and then returned to Santa Rosa in July, 1894. He is now engaged in fruit-packing, and is at the head of one of the important establishments of this nature in Sonoma county. He is also president of the Santa Rosa Water Company, and in many ways manifests his public spirit and enterprise.
He was married in 1896 to Miss Juillard, a daughter of C. F. Juillard, of Santa Rosa. they have one child, Juillard McDonald.
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