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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Donald A. McPherson Biography

This biography appears on pages 683-684 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) 

Hon. Donald A. McPherson, cashier of the First National Bank of Deadwood, has been a prominent figure in business circles in the Black Hills country for many years and a recognized leader in political connections in the state. He was born in Lancaster, Ontario, Canada, May 29, 1841, a son of John and Catherine (Cameron) McPherson. The father was a native of Inverness-shire, Scotland, and made farming his life work. He served as a volunteer at the time of the rebellion in Canada, in 1837, commanding his company as captain. He died in the year 1879, while his wife, who was born in Glengarry county, Ontario, passed away in 1861. 

Their son, Donald A. McPherson, attended the grammar schools of Cornwall and of Williamstown, Ontario, and afterward continued his education in Upper Canada College at Toronto, while subsequently he was graduated from the Military School of Toronto He left home in 1863, when a young man of twenty-two years, and afterward taught school for three or four years in Canada. At the time of the gold excitement in the west he went to Montana in 1867 and for several years engaged in merchandising in Helena. In 1872 he turned his attention to banking in Helena and in the same year organized the First National Bank of Bozeman, Montana, where he remained until 1874, when he removed to Minneapolis and there conducted a lumber business until 1877. In the latter year he made an overland trip to Deadwood by way of Bismarck and after reaching his destination engaged in the banking business. He has been connected with the banking business since that time except for a period of two years, from 1879 to 1882, when he represented the Gilmer & Salsbury stage line of Sidney, Nebraska. On the 10th of July, 1882, he was appointed cashier of the First National Bank of Deadwood and has since served in that capacity, covering a period of about a third of a century. He has done much to establish the stability of this institution and promote its success along modern financial lines and is widely recognized as one of the foremost bankers in the Black Hills. He is also president and treasurer of Wasp No. 2 Mining Company and is the owner of considerable city property, having made judicious investments in real estate. 

On the 31st of July, 1872, Mr. McPherson was united in marriage to Miss Caroline M. Ricker, a native of Kansas. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. McPherson was celebrated in Helena, Montana, where the lady was at that time living with a brother. They became the parents of six children: Clarence, who was born March 29, 1873, and Arthur Pitt, both of whom died October, 1877; Donald Erskine, who was born September 30, 1881, and was married in Butte, Montana, but now resides in Deadwood, where he follows the profession of mining engineering; Malcolm Grey, who is engaged in mining; Edith Ariel, the wife of A. E. Stirrett; and Kenneth Chancellor, who is now attending the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. 

The religious faith of the family is that of the Episcopal church. Fraternally Mr. McPherson is connected with the Elks. In his political belief he is a republican and he has been called to various public offices, serving as county commissioner of Lawrence county for a number of years, as a member of the city council and as a member of the school board, and for two consecutive terms he represented his district in the state senate, being elected in 1909 and again in 1911. He aided in shaping the legislation passed during those periods and left the impress of his individuality upon the laws of the state. He was guided by a public spirited devotion to the general good and wisely placed the interests of the commonwealth before personal aggrandizement. He is well known as a man of high purpose, honorable in office as well as in business, and the honor and integrity of his character are above reproach.



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