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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
John Walter McDonald, K. C.


A successful member of the Macleod bar is John Walter McDonald, who is serving as King's Counsel, to which position he was appointed in 1919, and he is also mayor of Macleod. He was born near Toronto, Ontario, on the 21st of May, 1879, a son of Donald and Flora (McDonald) McDonald, who were natives of the community in which their son was born. The father was a successful farmer and construction carpenter. His death occurred in 1919, at the age of eighty-nine years, and Mrs. McDonald died in 1921, when seventy-four years of age. To them four children were born, John Walter being the second in order of birth. The eldest son, William, is living in Toronto, retired; Anna, the third member of the family, is the wife of Edward Hall of Toronto; and Norman is employed in the post office in that city. The family were reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church.

In the acquirement of his education John Walter McDonald attended the schools of his birthplace and subsequently was graduated from the Richmond Hill high school. In 1905 he was graduated from the University of Toronto with the LL.B. degree, and in that same year the B. C. L. degree was conferred upon him by the Osgoode Hall Law School. He practiced in Toronto until 1907, having an extensive general clientele and he then came to Macleod, associating with the late Malcolm McKenzie for three years, after which he formed a partnership with D. G. McKenzie and they later took into the firm, T. B. Martin, and are now practicing under the style of McDonald, Martin & McKenzie. In 1919 Mr. McDonald was appointed King's Counsel and he was made Crown prosecutor in the same year. He was prosecuting attorney for the Basoff murder case in 1920 and for the Zitto murder case in 1921, and he has won widespread recognition for the success he has achieved in handling criminal cases. In 1923 he was elected mayor of Macleod, by acclamation and well merits the honor thus conferred upon him.

In 1907 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. McDonald to Miss Margaret Somerville, a native of Ontario, and a daughter of Dr. Somerville. To their union two children have been born: Jack and Audrey, both living at home.

The religious faith of Mr. McDonald is that of the Presbyterian church. In politics he maintains an independent course, giving his support to the man he thinks best fitted for the office without regard to party principles. Along the lines of his profession he is a member of the Dominion and Macleod Bar Associations and he is president of the latter body and president of the Macleod Board of Trade. Both as a representative of his profession and as mayor Mr. McDonald is held in high regard in Macleod, as in all of the relations of life he has manifested qualities which entitle him to the respect and esteem of his fellow townsmen.


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