Biography of Donald W. McLeod

Donald W. Mcleod is one of the prominent and well-known citizens of Riverside and has been identified with many of the leading public enterprises of the colony for the decade of years preceding 1890. Mr. McLeod is a native of Nova Scotia, born at Scotsburn, Pictou County, November 18, 1841. His parents, Duncan R. and Annie (Fraser) McLeod, were of Scotch descent. Mr. McLeod was reared upon his father’s farm, and early in life became familiar with the practical duties of farm life. He was given the advantages of a good education, and at nineteen years of age graduated at the Provincial Normal School at Truro. He then engaged in teaching, and later entered the Dalhousie University at Halifax. Young and ambitious he entered heartily upon his college course, but over-work and a too close application to his studies resulted in physical prostration, and in 1863 his ill health compelled an abandonment of his university studies. He then decided to try his fortunes in the United States, and in that year located in New York city, where he entered into mercantile life; but again his health gave way, and he became convinced that not only a change of occupation but also a complete change of climate was necessary. In 1867 he came to the Pacific coast and located in San Francisco, and for the next seven years was associated with and held a position of responsibility and trust in the American Tract Society, and the California Bible Society.

In 1874 Mr. McLeod returned east, and at Fort Wayne, Indiana, married Miss Elizabeth M. Evans, a native of that State. She is the daughter of William Rush Evans, of Kendallville, Indiana, and is a niece of S. C. Evans, a prominent and well-known citizen of Riverside. In 1875 Mr. McLeod decided to seek a residence in Southern California. In 1880 he purchased a twenty-acre tract on Arlington Avenue, about three miles south of Riverside village, and engaged in horticultural pursuits. He has been noticeably successful in that enterprise, having one of the representative orange groves of Riverside. He has fifteen acres in budded orange trees and four acres in raisin grapes. His trees and vines are remarkable for their magnificent proportions and prolific yield, and his orange grove, when it reaches its full bearing, is destined to be one of the most profitable in the colony. Mr. McLeod has built up a beautiful and comfortable home, surrounded with shade and ornamental trees and flowers, which leaves little to be desired in completing a model California home. Nor has he neglected the practical improvements, as his well-ordered outbuildings, packing house, etc., sufficiently attest. He is a thoroughly trained businessman as well as a successful horticulturist.

In 1880 he was appointed secretary of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company, and held the position until August 1882, when sickness compelled his resignation. June 4, 1887, he was again appointed to the position and has held the office since that date. He is also a director of the company and is a director and secretary of the Riverside Land Company.

Mr. McLeod has throughout his life been a consistent Christian. He is a member and an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Arlington, and in 1883 and 1888 was sent as a delegate from the Los Angeles presbytery to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. In political matters he is a sound Republican and has taken his share of work in the ranks of his party as a delegate to county conventions, etc. He is a member of Templar Lodge, No. 17, I. O. O. F., of San Francisco. As a public-spirited citizen, a kind neighbor, and an honest man, he well merits the respect and esteem awarded him, and is a desirable acquisition to Riverside.



The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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