Biography of Hon. James J. McDonald
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The subject of this sketch, one of the leading general contractors of Idaho and a man of public spirit, is a native of Ireland, his birth having occurred in the city of Dublin, July 12, 1862. In his native city he acquired a liberal education, and in 1880 emigrated to the United States, locating in Denver, Colorado, where he remained for two years. From 1882 to 1890 he was engaged in railway construction, in several states, and during the last named year came to Idaho, settling at Nampa, where he has since resided.
During his residence in this state Mr. McDonald has been engaged in mining, irrigation and railway construction, under contract, the latest contract for the latter species of work being made for the grading of the Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railroad.
But his value to the community is not confined to the directing of manual labor, for his intellectual heritage and attainments have led him to take an efficient part in the public welfare. Politically he is a Republican, and he is always active in supporting the principles and interests of that party. In the autumn of 1898 he was elected to represent Canyon County in the state senate of the fifth session of the Idaho legislature. While a member of that body he was chairman of the railroad and transportation committee and a member of the committee on engrossed bills and corporations. He was one of the leading members of the senate, taking an active and influential part.
Fraternally Mr. McDonald is a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the B. P. O. E. and he is also a member of the Commercial Club of Nampa. In all his business and social relations he is an influential leader.
In 1890, in Boise, Mr. McDonald was united in marriage with Miss Florence DeMeyer, a native of Fulton, Kentucky.