Thomas J. McDonald, one of the prominent farmers of Fillmore township, is connected with public affairs of the
county, being a member of the board of supervisors. His birth occurred in Jackson county, Iowa, on the 25th of
October, 1862, but his parents, John and Honora (Ryan) McDonald, were both born in Ireland, where they were reared
and married. In 1850 they emigrated to the United States and after residing near Elgin, Illinois, for four years,
they removed to Jackson county, Iowa, where Mr. McDonald purchased land and concentrated his attention upon farming.
Sixteen years later the family came to this county and settled in Sumner township, where the father became a landowner.
He died in 1872, at the age of forty eight, and was survived for many years by his widow, who died when seventy
six years old in 1907.
Thomas J. McDonald attended the public schools in the acquirement of his education but as he was only ten years
of age at the time of his father's death, he was early compelled to give the greater part of his time to the work
of the homestead. He and an older brother operated the farm for a number of years but when our subject was in his
twenty seventh year he was married and soon afterward purchased a farm in Pilot township, where he resided for
about ten years. In 1899 he sold that property and bought two hundred and fifty acres of land in Fillmore township,
which comprises his present home farm. The greater part of the place lies in the North English river bottoms and
it is one of the most valuable farms of the county. He is an able and progressive agriculturist and is financially
In 1889 Mr. McDonald married Miss Catherine Griffin, of Washington township, this county, and they have six children,
John M., Martin J., Catherine, Edward, Nora G., and Thomas I., all at home.
Mr. McDonald is an ardent adherent of the democratic party and for nine years served as township trustee. In November,
1912, he was elected to the board of county supervisors and is still a member of that body. For the past fourteen
years he has been a member of the school board and anything affecting the welfare of the public schools is a matter
of vital concern to him. He and his family are communicants of the Catholic church and do all in their power to
promote the spread of its influence. He is a stockholder in the Acme Lumber Company at North English and is one
of the representative and substantial men of Iowa county, where he is held in high regard.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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