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Nancy (White) McDonald


John and Nancy McDonald

Nancy E. (White) McDonald was born on March 26, 1856 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Perry G. and Charlotte (McClatchy) White. 

When she was a very young girl, her mother died, and her father married Mariah Minerd. Nancy thus became a step-sister with another Nancy (Minerd), who was two years older. The fate of the "other" Nancy is unknown.

The federal census of 1860, when Nancy was age four, shows her in the household of her father and stepmother near Uniontown, along with her siblings and half-sister. 

During 1862 or 1863, however, an uncle and aunt from Iowa -- Charles M. and Martha McClatchey -- offered to bring Nancy and her elder brother Thomas into their residence, and the offer was accepted. Thus sister and brother moved more than 800 miles from their known home in the Pennsylvania mountains to the very flat land of Pella, Marion County, IA. There, they joined a household of first cousins including Mary C. Campbell, Fanny McClatchey and Katie McClatchey, all of whom were younger. 


Nancy, early 1900s

The uncle, a native of Fayette County who had come to Iowa at the age of nine, owned a woolen mill in Pella and had become wealthy. In fact, he is profiled in the 1881 book The History of Marion County, Iowa, published by the Union Historical Company. His first wife had died in 1859, and so his second wife Martha was really the only aunt Nancy ever knew.

The census of 1870 shows Nancy -- named as "Hennie" -- living in the McClatchey residence.

At the age of 22, Nancy wed 21-year-old John William McDonald (1854-1933), the son of William and Sarah Ann (Peterson) McDonald of Indiana. John's father was a native of New York, and the mother of Ohio. The ceremony took place on Aug. 26, 1875 in Knoxville, Marion County.

Shortly after marriage, the McDonalds migrated westward. According to a descendant, John worked for the railroad, "so they moved around." 

The Whites had eight children, of whom seven are known, born between 1876 and 1897, in four different states and territories. They include Jessie Mae McDonald, Grace Edna Akey and William Perry McDonald (in Iowa); Charles Samuel McDonald and Mabel Rachel McDonald (South Dakota Territory); Viola Blanche Lucht (Nebraska); and George T. D. McDonald (Texas). 

When the federal census was taken in 1880, Nancy and John and their two eldest daughters resided with John's parents on a farm in Iowa, in Comstock, Prescott Township, Adams County. Also in the household that year was 24-year-old boarder Alwildah J. McDonald, a teacher and likely John's unmarried sister.

By 1885, the McDonalds had migrated to South Dakota, which was not yet a state in the union. The Territorial Census of South Dakota shows that the family was residing in the community of Hand. 


McDonald house in St. Paul, Nebraska

The McDonalds relocated again to Nebraska by 1892, with one of their daughters born in St. Paul, Howard County.

By 1900, the census shows them in Texas, living in the Justice's Precinct community of Palo Pinto County, TX. John's occupation was "coal miner." Five children were under their roof that year, as was John's widowed, 76-year-old father.

Seen here is the McDonald house in St. Paul, NE in the early 1900s. In view, left to right, are George, Mabel, Blanche, Blanche's friend and Nancy, with their pet dog Jack. The house was still standing in the late 1980s, and had been converted into a duplex apartment.

Nancy was back in Nebraska circa September 1904 at the time of the death of her sister Mary Frances Turner. She was mentioned in the Turner obituary which appeared in a Uniontown (PA) newspaper. Nancy would have been age 48 at the time.

Nancy and John apparently stayed in St. Paul for the remaining years of her life. The 1910 census shows them there, in a dwelling on Sheridan Avenue. John was employed as a railroad laborer, and 26-year-old son Charles as a farm laborer.

Sadly, Nancy died near St. Paul, NE in 1917. She was age 63. She was laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetery near St. Paul. The precise date, and cause of her passing, are not yet known.

Within the year, by September 1918, widower John made a 16-mile move from St. Paul to Wolbach, Greeley County, NE. He remained there for a year or two.


Wolbach's Main Street in Nebraska, where John lived after Nancy's death


A double tragedy struck a year later, during World War I, when son George and daughter Mabel both died. George died of the disease at age 21, as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I, while Mabel died in 1918 of unknown causes in St. Paul.

John outlived his wife by 16 years. By 1920, he was back in Howard County, residing in the home of his married son Charles. 

In 1930, he was a member of the household of his married daughter and son in law, Blanche and Hays Lucht, in Cushing, Howard County.

John passed away in 1933, at the age of 79. He was buried beside Nancy in Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul.


~ Daughter Jessie Mae McDonald ~

Daughter Jessie Mae McDonald (1876-1931) was born in Prescott Township, Adams County, IA. 

She passed away in Wyoming. 


~ Daughter Grace Edna (McDonald) Akey ~

Daughter Grace Edna McDonald (1878-1956) was born on Nov. 11, 1877 in Comstock, Adams County, IA. She also claimed to have been born in Prescott, Arkansas and in South Dakota.

She married John Alford Akey (1876- ? ). They had 10 known children: Velma Akey, Richard Preston Akey, Harold Akey, John H. Akey, Charles Akey, Grace Akey, Margaret Maxie Akey, McDonald "Mack" Akey, J.C. Akey and Pauline Katie Akey.

John was a longtime mechanic and machinist, and also a blacksmith. They lived in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, TX (at 1316 Stella Street in 1903, 2222 Prospect Street in 1917 and 1100 Elmwood Avenue in 1919-1920). In 1910, when the census was taken, the McDonalds made their home on Green Street in Stephenville, Erath County, TX. By 1930, in Fort Worth, John continued his longtime labors as a blacksmith in Fort Worth.


Fort Worth's Main Street, looking north from 10th Street


Grace endured hyper-tensive heart disease, and died of its effects at the age of 78 on April 18, 1956 in Fort Worth. She was placed into eternal repose in West End Cemetery in Stephenville.

Daughter Velma Akey was born on Sept. 15, 1903, at home in Fort Worth.

Son Richard Preston Akey was born on Nov. 21, 1904, in Fort Worth. When the federal census was taken in 1930, he lived with his parents and worked as a machinist for an oil supply company.

Son Harold Akey was born in 1906. 

Son John Huston Akey (1907-1975) was born on Sept. 22 1907, in Stephenville. He worked as an electrotyper in a printing business. He spent his final six years in Granbury, Hood County. John died at the age of 68 at Hood General Hospital. Burial was in Holly Hills Memorial Park.

Son Charles Akey was born in 1910.

Daughter Grace Akey was born in 1912. 

Daughter Margaret Maxie Akey was born on Jan. 17, 1913. Sadly, she only lived less than a month, and died on Feb. 12, 1913, in Stephenville, 

Son McDonald "Mack" Akey was born on Sept. 19, 1914 in Stephenville. He was married and resided in Houston, TX, where he was employed as a machinist with Oil Field Body Company. In December 1947, at the age of 33, he was afflicted by a bacterial infection. He died a month and a half later, on Feb. 1, 1948, at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Bell County, TX. His remains were returned to Stephenville for burial.

Son J.C. Akey was born on Jan. 1, 1917 in the family home in Fort Worth. 

Daughter Pauline Katie Akey was born on Sept. 16, 1919 in the Akey residence in Fort Worth.


~ Son William Perry McDonald ~

Son William Perry McDonald (1881-1963) was born on Feb. 19, 1881 in Pella, Adams County, IA. 

He was a longtime farmer, and settled as an adult in Argyle, Denton County, TX.

He died on Aug. 11, 1963 in Denton County, TX, at the age of 82, after suffering from congestive heart failure and kidney disease. He was laid to rest in Prairie Mound Cemetery in Argyle.


~ Son Charles Samuel McDonald ~

Son Charles Samuel McDonald (1884-1967) was born in January 1884 in South Dakota Territory. 

As a 26-year-old, in 1910, he made his home with his parents and younger siblings in St. Paul, Howard County, NE. That year, he was employed as a farm laborer. 

Charles married Peterke A. (?) (1893- ? ), a Nebraska native whose parents were German. They had two known sons -- Roland C. McDonald and Lyle L. McDonald -- both born in Nebraska.

In 1920, when the federal census was enumerated, they made their home on farm in Logan Precinct, Howard County. Charles' widowed, 66-year-old father lived in the household.

Charles passed away in St. Paul on June 24, 1967. 


~ Daughter Mabel Rachel McDonald ~

Daughter Mabel Rachel McDonald (1887-1918) was born in November 1887 in South Dakota Territory. 

As a 22-year-old, in 1910, she made her home with her parents and siblings in St. Paul, Howard County, NE. That year, she was not employed. 

In 1918, Mabel died of unknown causes in St. Paul, at the age of 31. Nothing more is known.


~ Daughter Viola "Blanche" (McDonald) Lucht ~

Daughter Viola Blanche McDonald (1893-1960) was born in March 1892 in St. Paul, Howard County, NE. 

At the age of 21, in 1914, Blanche married 24-year-old Hays G. Lucht (1891- ? ), a Nebraskan by birth whose parents were from Germany. 

They had seven known children -- Hazel Lucht, Dorothy Lucht, Gerald Lucht, Ruth Lucht, Howard Lucht, Loren Lucht and Pearl Lucht. 

In 1930, when the census was recorded, the Luchts made their home on Center Avenue in Cushing, Howard County, NE. There, Hays was employed as a bridge-worker for the railroad. Blanche's widowed father, age 76, also lived under their roof at that time.

Later, Blanche resided in Oregon. She died there on Nov. 17, 1960.

Daughter Hazel Lucht (1916- ? ) was born in 1916, presumably in Howard County.

Daughter Dorothy Lucht (1917- ? ) was born in 1917, presumably in Howard County.

Son Gerald Lucht (1919- ? ) was born in 1919, presumably in Howard County.

Daughter Ruth Lucht (1920- ? ) was born in 1920, presumably in Howard County.

Son Howard Lucht (1923- ? ) was born in 1923, presumably in Howard County.

Son Loren Lucht (1925- ? ) was born in 1925, presumably in Howard County.

Daughter Pearl Lucht (1929- ? ) was born in 1929, presumably in Howard County.


George McDonald

~ Son George T.D. McDonald ~

Son George T. D. McDonald (1897- ? ) was born on March 24, 1897 in Palo Pinto County, TX. He was the only one of Nancy and John's children born in the Lone Star State. 

He had blue eyes and dark brown hair. A rare photograph of George in civilian clothes, peacefully enjoying a smoke on his pipe, is seen here. 

As a young man, he migrated to South Dakota, living in Oral, Fall River County. There, he was employed by J.H. Ludwick.

During World War I, after his mother's death, George filled out a draft registration card on June 5, 1918. Later, he joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Fort Riley, KS for basic training. 

Tragically, George became sick during a deadly sweep of influenza across the nation, which claimed tens of millions in deaths. George could not escape the grip of the illness, and died. The date of his passing is not yet known, nor is his final resting place. He is one of a large number of cousins to give their lives in the service of our nation, and he is enshrined on our Minerd.com Honor Roll.


Army recruits training at Fort Riley, KS during World War I


~ For More Info ~

Contact Marie (McDonald) Harrell for more information.


Copyright 2003, 2005, 2012, 2014 Mark A. Miner