George Mcdonald

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
December 28, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 73 & 74

George McDonald. Among the many public improvements that have added to the
picturesque City of Parkersburg, West Virginia, with its natural beauty, within
recent years, none arouse more admiration than the magnificent new high-school
building in its beautiful landscape setting. The city is largely indebted for
this improvement to the untiring efforts of George McDonald and his associates.
Mr. McDonald is the present superintendent of buildings and grounds for the
Parkersburg Independent School District.

George McDonald was born on a farm in Marshall County, West Virginia, March 21,
1864, the year following the birth of West Virginia. His grandather was born
in Scotland and was the founder of the family in America, and after coming to
the United States practically spent the rest of his life in what is now
Marshall County. James Alexander McDonald, father of George, was born and
reared in Marshall County. When war arose between the states he was a volunteer
in the Union Army and served with bravery and honor through two enlistments. He
married Elizabeth Meyer, and they had eight children, three sons and five
daughters, George being fourth in order of birth. The parents of Mr. McDonald
were members of the Christian Church. They spent their lives in Marshall
County and were held in esteem by all who knew them.

George McDonald attended the country schools and grew up on the home farm. His
first work after leaving home was as a spike driver with the construction gang
building of the Ohio River Railroad, which is now a division of the Baltimore &
Ohio system, and when the road was completed he continued with the railroad
people and worked as fireman on a locomotiv engine for two years, when he was
promoted to engineer.

For the twenty succeeding years Mr. McDonald continued his connection with the
railroad. In 1884 he located his home at Parkersburg, and in 1900 established
his Model Laundry business, at the same time showing such interest in the
welfare of the city that in 1915 he was elected a member of the school board.
He served unitl 1917, when he resigned in order to become the first business
manager of the board, which, later, was changed as to title and became
superindendent of buldings and grounds for this large territory. He has shown
executive ability of a high order and business capacity that has been very
valuable to the City of Parkersburg. The new high-school building with its
modern equipments is the finest structure of its kind in West Virginia and
compares well with any in the United States, and Mr. McDonald was
indegatigable in his efforts to bring about its completion.

At Marietta, Ohio, in 1887, Mr. McDonald was married to Miss Mary Bishop, of
that city, and they have one son, Walter G. McDonald, who during the World war
was in military service, being stationed at Alliance, Ohio, and attached to the
Ordnance Department. Mr. McDonald was active during the war in all local
patriotic movements and gave hearty support to the various relief organizations.
He is a Knight Templar York Rite Mason, thirty-second degree, A.A.S.R., and a
member of Nemesis Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. He belongs also to the Knights of
Pytias and tot he Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. In political
sentiment he has always been a republican.