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Donald Alexander MacArthur


MacArthur, Donald Alexander, Alexandria, Ont., was born on the 28th of October,. 1836, in Charlotteburg, County of Glengarry, Ontario. His father, Alexander MacArthur, was a son of Charles MacArthur, a native of Lochaber, Inverness-shire, Scotland, who came to Canada in 1786, and settled in. Glengarry. Donald MacArthur, his great-grandfather, served under Cameron, of Lochiel, and took part at the battle of Culloden, when Prince Charles Stuart’s forces were defeated by the Duke of Cumberland; and his grandfather, Charles MacArthur, served at a later date in suppressing the Irish rebellion. On coming to Canada, his grandfather took up land, which he cleared, and on which he erected a homestead, and on this is the residence of the subject of this sketch. Charles MacArthur died when his son, Alexander, was very young, arid the latter was brought up by his brother John, who was an extensive lumber merchant at Kingston. After attaining manhood Alexander settled on the homestead, marrying Mary, a daughter of John Macdonald, one of the United Empire loyalists. The issue of this marriage was nine sons arid two daughters, of which family Donald Alexander is the third eldest. Like other loyalists, Alexander MacArthur, at the time of the rebellion of 1837-8, took up arms in defence of the government. He was gifted with a splendid constitution, and at this writing is still hale and in good health, though well advanced in life. Donald Alexander MacArthur received his early education in Cornwall, and took his classical course at the Alexandria Grammar School. At the age of nineteen he left school, and thereafter for a time—till he was twenty-two--pursued the avocation of teacher in his native county. He then entered mercantile pursuits under the late A. S. Macdonald, of Alexandria, with whom he remained seven and a half years. He then formed a partnership with George Harrison, of Alexandria, the firm being known as Harrison & MacArthur. This business was successfully carried on for five or six years, when Mr. McArthur disposed of his interest therein. In 1874 he commenced business for himself, and two years afterwards erected the handsome premises which he now occupies. In 1881 Mr. McArthur was one of the sub-committee of five, appointed by the board of directors for the building of the Canada Atlantic Railway, his confreres being John Rankin of Montreal; E. McGillivray, and C. R Mackintosh of Ottawa; Saxon Casselman of Casselman, and Mr. Helmer of Russell. This committee made a contract with D. C. Lindsay of Vermont, and it was ratified by the board, and has since been carried to its completion. In the fall of 1882 Mr. McArthur was nominated by the Conservative party for the representation of Glengarry in the local house, his opponent being James Rayside, the present member, who only succeeded in defeating him by the small majority of seventy votes. In January, 1885, he was elected reeve of Alexandria, defeating the then reeve, D.A. Macdonald. In 1886 he was elected reeve by acclamation, and subsequently, on the 26th of January, at the first meeting of the council, was chosen warden of the united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. Mr. McArthur has always been a staunch Conservative, and is president of the Conservative Association of the County of Glengarry. In religion he is a Roman catholic, although that was not the faith of his ancestors.


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