Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVI  


The MC DONALDs, with others of the first migration, arrived in Union Township a short distance east of Maxinkuckee lake, July 26,1836. In the fall of 1835, THOMAS MCDONALD came from southern Indiana and bought a piece of land near Maxinkuckee's shores. He built a log cabin upon this land, and in the spring of 1836 brought his family and began the labor of a pioneer in a new country.

In their little cabin in the wilderness THOMAS and ELIZABETH (DICKSON) MCDONALD made their home and raised a family, of which they well might be proud. They brought with them from southern Indiana a boy who, when he grew to manhood, became a great credit to his pioneer, parents. His name was
      He was born in Fayette County, Indiana, near Connersville, May 6, 1833. His school education was confined to a few terms in the log schoolhouses of the pioneer days, besides such education as he received by experience. His school days were all spent in this vicinity; he was only three years old when the family arrived in the township.

      Early in his career he was a telegraph operator and station agent, then was a bank cashier, and as a practical printer entered the newspaper field and for thirty years was editor and publisher of the "Plymouth Democrat."

      He held several positions during his lifetime, which were of a civic nature, including clerk of the Marshall circuit court and member of the Indiana legislature. He was Democratic candidate for Congress from the Thirteenth. District in 1880, a delegate to the Democratic national convention at St. Louis in 1876 and Chicago in 1884, and for several years member of the Democratic state committee and chairman of the district committee. Though Plymouth became his place of permanent residence, DANIEL MC DONALD was considered by the people of the Maxinkuckee region as "one of us." He had his summer home on the east side of the lake, and by his kindly deeds and his friendly spirit endeared himself to folk for miles around.

      No mention of Union Township personalities would be complete without ample reference to MC DONALD the historian. His abilities were many. His major interests were history and politics.

      Not only was he a most accurate and painstaking writer of historical themes, but also he was a gifted orator.

      He was extremely fond of Lake Maxinkuckee the historical and romantic background of which he extolled by the diligent use of a facile pen. He contributed numerous articles to the newspapers of the county Indian lore especially interested him and he wrote on the subject of the aboriginal inhabitants of this region. While at his "Maxinkuckee home," he did a great deal of writing, and one frequently finds "Pottawattamie Reservation" inscribed beneath his signature.

      Among his works were two histories of Marshall County, one of Lake Maxinkuckee, one of the removal of the Indians. and one of Free Masonry in Indiana. His father established the "Marshall County Democrat" in 1855, and the paper afterward was principally owned or edited by himself or sons.

The pioneer MC DONALDs assisted in setting the machinery of local government in motion and lived in every way honorable and upright lives. All the original BROWNLEEs, LOGANs, DICKSONs, THOMPSONs and Mcdonalds, with the exception of Mrs. MARTHA MCDONALD-THOMPSON, had passed away by 1904, when on June 5th over fifty of the descendant; assembled at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. THOMAS MCDONALD, five miles southwest of Plymouth, in the Mcdonald family reunion. Many of the relatives who had never seen each other before met there for the first time.

Regarding family ties, it was said: "They were married and inter-married in so many devious ways that the most expert genealogist has never been able to decipher the relationship." DANIEL MCDONALD and W. D. THOMPSON, both of whom came to this county and to Lake Maxinkuckee as boys in the summer of '36, were very much alive at the reunion of '04. Both talked about early family history. The two were then among the oldest residents of the county. Both had gone to Plymouth from their pioneer homes near Maxinkuckee; both were lifelong residents of the county.

An organization was effected in 1904 by the election of THOMAS MCDONALD as president; Mrs. JANE MOSHER and Mrs. REBECCA OSBORN, vice presidents; and John McDonald, secretary. The object was to provide for the holding of the MC DONALD reunions and to perpetuate family traditions.