Memorable Manitobans: Duncan D. McDonald (1871-1953)
Merchant, municipal official.
Born at Renfrew, Ontario on 19 May 1871, he came to Dauphin in 1900 where he was a prominent merchant. He was on the Dauphin council for many years and served two terms as Mayor of Dauphin. He was elected Vice-President of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities at the 1914 convention in St. Boniface and in November 1916 at Brandon became its President, serving until 1918.
At the 1922 convention in Portage la Prairie, he undertook the duties of Secretary-Treasurer following John Cardale, a councillor of the Rural Municipality of Blanshard, who had held that office from the Union’s formation at Brandon in 1905. McDonald held this office until 1930. He was described as “an orator of the old school with a scholarly background and a great love for poetry.”
On 9 September 1903, he married Agnes Gibbons (1872-1944) at Renfrew, Ontario and they had a daughter, Agnes Jean McDonald (1907-?, wife of Martin Aloysius Story) and a legal ward Norah Muriel Molson (1907-2004, wife of William Richard Southworth). In 1930, he was involved, along with Dauphin lawyer John N. McFadden, in the founding of Riding Mountain National Park.
For the last several years of his life, he lived with his daughter at Copetown, Ontario. He died at Daytona Beach, Florida on 7 February 1953 while on vacation. He was buried in the Dauphin Riverside Cemetery.
Ontario birth and marriage registrations, Ancestry.
Birth registration [Agnes Jean McDonald], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
Marriage registration [Agnes Jean McDonald, Martin Aloysius Story], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Mrs. D. D. McDonald dies in hospital on Sunday,” Dauphin Herald, 27 January 1944, page 1.
“The local round,” Dauphin Herald, 27 January 1944, page 5.
“Former Mayor, D. D. McDonald dies at Daytona Beach, Fla.,” Dauphin Herald, 12 February 1953, page 1.
Obituary, Western Municipal News, April 1953, pages 105, 117.
We thank Liz Houghtling and Patty Hoy for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 January 2023