Donald McDonald, commissioner, political representative, soldier, and sheriff of San Augustine County, was born on December 23, 1788, in West Canada. He served as captain in the British army during the War of 1812 and participated in the battle of Lundy's Lane on July 25, 1814. He immigrated to Texas about 1826 and, in partnership with Wyatt Hanks, built a sawmill and gin near the site of present San Augustine that provided Ayish Bayou with lumber. For a year or two afterwards he operated a ferry for James Gaines on the Sabine River. McDonald was a representative of the Ayish Bayou District at the Convention of 1832 and the Consultation of 1835. He was appointed with Samuel S. Davis and William Nash as a commissioner to enlist volunteers for the Texas army under John G. Love, primary judge, and was a volunteer in Capt. William Scurlock's company. McDonald was a master Mason, a charter member of McFarland's Lodge, and Worshipful Master in 1847. He was sheriff of San Augustine County for two terms, 1856–60. About 1830 he married Maria Louisa Maxmillion, with whom he had five children. He married Martha Lomax on February 22, 1843, and they had one child. On January 30, 1854, he married Elizabeth Hightower; they had no children. McDonald, a Catholic, died on May 2, 1884, and was buried in the Parker Cemetery, south of San Augustine.