MCDONALD, MURDOCH (1810–1889). Murdoch McDonald, town founder, was born in Moore County, North Carolina, on February 15, 1810, the son of Angus and Nancy (Bethune) McDonald. He left home as a young man and about 1832 went to Lexington, Georgia, where he met George Lester, a physician. The two became friends and moved to Texas together in 1839. They settled in the Mound Prairie area of what is now Anderson County, then in Houston County. Both men engaged in farming, and Lester practiced medicine. McDonald acquired large tracts of land, including a farm on which some historic Indian mounds are located. On August 9, 1843, he married Sarah Almeda Lester, daughter of George and Martha Lester. The couple lived most of their life at Mound Prairie, where Murdoch was active in school, church, and community affairs. He was county commissioner from 1854 until 1856. He was a supporter of Mound Prairie Institute, where three of his children attended school. The school closed during the Civil War, and in 1866 McDonald and other interested men established and chartered a school named Stovall Academy, located south of the site of present Neches. In 1860, when the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Plentitude, McDonald was a trustee of the church. (Mound Prairie was also known as Plentitude.) McDonald is considered the founder of Neches. The McDonalds moved there soon after the coming of the railroad. McDonald gave 300 acres of land to the International Railroad Company for a dollar, on condition that the railroad build through the land and give McDonald three town lots. On the site he built a hotel that became a social center. The McDonalds had nine children; six lived to adulthood. Sarah died on April 13, 1874. Murdoch died on November 1, 1889. Both are buried at Mound Prairie Cemetery.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Josephine McDonald Woodard, "McDonald, Murdoch," accessed June 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmcur.
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