Biography of W. A. McDonald
Oregon Biographies





W. A. McDonald, general manager of the Tru-Blu Biscuit Company of Portland, was born in Salem, Oregon, April 12, 1878. His father, O. R. McDonald, was a native of Pennsylvania and there engaged in the live stock business. He came west in 1868, settling in Canyon City, Oregon, where he engaged in mining, and later he turned his attention to the raising of live stock. During this period he was also superintendent of farming interests on the Masher reservation for four years and was instrumental in suppressing the Indian outbreak at that time, which proved very disastrous. Later he was transferred to Fort Simcoe on the Yakima Indian reservation and retained that position until 1885, when he resigned and again turned his attention to raising blooded cattle and draft horses. This business occupied his attention until 1904, when he retired, passing away two years ago in Spokane, Washington. While on the Yakima reservation he was intimately associated with Father Wilbur and was also a great friend of ex Senator Ankeney and Jim Glover, the latter being one of the early bankers of Spokane, Washington. O. R. McDonald was united in marriage to Miss Jane Nye, a native of Oregon, who has passed away, but her mother survives her and is now living near Salem, Oregon, at the age of ninety years.

W. A. McDonald acquired his education in the schools of Washington and was graduated on the completion of a high school course and also of a business course. For fifteen years he was associated with the Tru-Blu Biscuit Company in Spokane, Washington, but in January, 1920, was transferred to Portland as general manager at this place. While the firm operates under the name of the Tru-Blu Biscuit Company in the manufacture of its bakery goods, all of its candies are manufactured under the name of Krause's, for Mr. Krause was the founder of the business and is president of the company. He acted as manager of the Portland plant prior to Mr. McMcDonald taking charge. The confections sent out by the house, as well as all the other products of the firm have gained a broad and well merited reputation for excellence. The Portland branch of the business was founded in June, 1916, while the Spokane house was established eighteen years ago. In the former city they occupy a three story brick and stone structure, at East Sixth and Davis streets, and also a three story structure across the street. In five years they have doubled the capacity of their cracker plant and are constantly adding modern machinery to facilitate and improve the manufacture of candy. They now have one of the most up to date plants on the coast, and their trade extends as far east as Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, the eastern trade being cared for by the Washington plant. From their Portland plant they make shipments to California and as far north as Alaska. Theirs are the only factories manufacturing sugar wafers north of San Francisco on the Pacific coast, and they have made shipment even to Bombay, India. At the Portland plant are employed two hundred and thirty people, and they have about thirty traveling salesmen upon the road. In making their goods they use home products whenever possible and the Stellar chocolates are considered their prize line. Their entire English line of biscuits has won favor through the well earned reputation of their Wellington brand. They make the satin finished goods in candies, also specialize in case and pail candies, and their output also includes the household plain table biscuit, and the Blue Ribbon Soda wafer, slightly salted. Mr. McDonald, as manager, is most wisely directing the development of the business and displays a capability that ranks him as a representative manufacturer of this class on the Pacific coast.

In Spokane, in 1906, Mr. McDonald was married to Miss Lena Eddy, a daughter of Charles Eddy, who died when his daughter was an infant. She is a niece of Colonel A. C. Eddy, a well known Montana pioneer. She was born at Salem, Oregon.

In politics Mr. McDonald is a republican, and he is connected with various fraternal organizations. He is likewise much interested in athletics and is a charter member of the Spokane Athletic Club, also a member of the Spokane Country Club and the Spokane City Club. He belongs to the Portland Chamber of Commerce and to the Kiwanis Club. He can recall many interesting events of the early days, when all goods were shipped to the northwest by wagon, and he can relate the story of the continuous progress which has brought Portland to a point of great commercial prominence and activity. While he has been a resident of this city for but a brief period he has already become widely and favorably known here and is welcomed to the ranks of Portland manufacturers.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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