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Malcom Macdonald was born in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, May 9, 1833. He left home and became self-supporting at sixteen years of age. He married in July 1859, and he and his estimable wife have a family of four children, three daughters and one son: John Monroe Macdonald, aged twenty-one years, who is studying for the medical profession.
San Bernardino Artificial Stone and Improvement Company was organized in March 1887, with a capital stock of $250,000, divided into 2,500 shares. John C. King was elected president; A. M. Murphy, vice-president; M. Davenport, secretary, and Malcom Macdonald, manager. The purpose of the organization is to construct sewers, sidewalks and tunnels, and to do a general contracting business. Their principal office is on E Street, near Third Street, in San Bernardino.
Under Mr. Macdonald’s efficient management the volume of business transacted by the company has been large, and has extended to the principal cities and towns of Southern California. Among their principal contracts may be mentioned the sewer systems of San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino, besides the manufacture of artificial stone trimmings for numerous large buildings, including the Stewart hotel. The business done in San Diego alone within the past few years aggregates nearly $300,000. Mr. Macdonald has been contracting for forty years, and in his present line of business fifteen years.
When sixteen years of age he started to learn ship-building, and, after completing the trade, carried it on seventeen years, during which time he modeled and drafted twenty-seven ships, besides parts of numerous others. He carried on the business in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Boston. He came to the Pacific coast in February 1868, and has ever since been engaged in general contract work. Before immigrating to this coast, he furnished the stonework for the provincial building in Halifax, the cathedral in Harbor Grace, the St. James Episcopal cathedral in Portland, Maine, and also manufactured grindstones for many mills in the New England States. These stones came from the quarry owned by him and his brother at Port Phillips, Nova Scotia. At the time an impost duty of twenty percent ad valorem was placed on this class of foreign merchandise by the United States Government. The firm of M. & P. Macdonald was one of the heaviest in that province, owning and employing in their trade with the United States five vessels. The labor of first-.class quarrymen cost them about $8 per month in that country. The effect of the tariff was to completely paralyze their business, and they were compelled to close down and sell their vessels. Mr. Macdonald says it cost him a fortune to learn the value of the United States tariff in the protection of home industry; hence he is a strong protective tariff man from the American standpoint, and is thoroughly Americanized.