Forney in Kaufman County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
William Madison McDonald
McDonald started school at age seven and graduated from high school in 1884. He had the reputation of being the smartest boy in all the area schools. During his youth, he worked for attorney and rancher Capt. Z.T. Adams, who took an interest in McDonald, lecturing him on business and law while he worked.
After graduating, McDonald was principal of the African American high school in Forney. His first wife, Alice Gibson McDonald, was a teacher there. He remained principal for several years.
McDonald was an early leader in Texas' Republican party as part of the "Black and Tan" faction, a group of whites and blacks who shared leadership roles. His political partnership with powerful businessman E.H.R. Green provided him a strong voice in state politics. In 1899, he became the right worshipful grand secretary of Texas' African American Masons, a position he held for almost 50 years.
McDonald moved in 1906 to Fort Worth, where he was a civic leader and businessman. He died in 1950 and is buried in Old Trinity Cemetery, part of Fort Worth's Oakwood Cemetery. Throughout his life, McDonald was a leader in the struggle for social justice, advocating persistence and civic and moral responsibility as the steps to equality.
Erected 2002 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12885.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Government & Politics.
Location. 32° 44.816′ N, 96° 28.279′ W. Marker is in Forney, Texas, in Kaufman County. Marker is at the intersection of Elm Street and East Main Street, on the left when traveling south on Elm Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 E Main St, Forney TX 75126, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter Dickson Adams and the Adams Drugstore (within shouting distance of this marker); Forney (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dixie Overland Highway (about 400 feet away); 1899 Automobile Trip (about 500 feet away); Dick P. Moore House (about 500 feet away); McKellar House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Forney Messenger (approx. 0.2 miles away); William and Blanche Brooks House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Forney.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2016, by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. This page has been viewed 193 times since then and 16 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on July 13, 2016, by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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