Since 1898, James S. McDonald has been known as an eminently successful grain operator of Green Valley, to which he came after an extended experience as a telegrapher for various railroad and commercial companies in the Middle West. He was born in Tecumseh, Shawnee County, Kans., September 24, 1868, and was united in marriage to Rhoda R. Rogers, of Manito, Ill., December 18, 1895. One child, Louis R., was born to them August 17 1904.
The father of the subject of this sketch, James, and his mother, Martinette (Green) McDonald, are natives of Illinois and New York City, respectively. The son was educated in the public schools and, as a means of livelihood, applied himself to telegraphy, his first employment in that line of work being with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, at Osage City, Kans. A year later he was transferred by the same management to Topeka, Kans., and three years afterward joined the forces of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, holding positions of trust and responsibility with this and other railroad and commercial companies at principal points in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Becoming tired of the work, he decided to embark in business, and, locating in Green Valley, built a grain elevator on the new railroad known as the St. Louis, Peoria & Northern (since purchased by the Chicago & Alton) and engaged in the business of handling grain and coal. His success in the past indicates a future of great usefulness in his adopted and, it is hoped, permanent place of residence.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1042
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