Ralph W. McDonald

RALPH W. McDONALD is proprietor and editor of the Robinson Index at Robinson, Kansas. His activities and experiences have nearly all been wrought out in the environment of a printing office and editorial sanctum.

At the age of eighteen he left school and began his apprenticeship in the printing office of the Hiawatha World. He was with that paper in various capacities until July, 1914, when he removed to Robinson and bought the Index. This is one of the older papers of Brown County, having been established in 1891. Through populism and every other politicalism it has steadfastly advocated republican principles. Under its present management the Index is a high grade home newspaper, and circulates throughout Brown and surrounding counties. It has a well equipped plant and the paper is issued from the office on Parsons Street.

Mr. McDonald is a native of Kansas, having been born on a farm in Doniphan County, August 30, 1886, His ancestry is Scotch. His father, A. W. McDonald, who lives at Hiawatha, was born at Milford, Ohio, grew up in his native state, and came to Kansas when a young man in 1879. He was first at Wichita and afterwards became a farmer in Doniphan County, where he married. In 1888 he removed to Wallace County, Kansas, farmed there for seven or eight years, but since 1895 has lived retired at Hiawatha. He is a republican and a member of the Bethany Reformed Church. A. W. McDonald married Sarah Swartz, who was born in Ohio in 1861 and died at Hiawatha in 1897. Their children are: French, an electrical engineer living at Carrolton, Missouri; Anna, wife of E. F. Hoch, a paving contractor living at Hiawatha; Hugh, a miller whose home is in McKinney, North Dakota; Ralph W.; and Dorothy, still at home with her parents.

Ralph W. McDonald was educated in the public schools of Hiawatha from the age of nine years, and attended high school there until he entered the printing business. Mr. McDonald is a republican and has done much to build up and strengthen his party in his home locality. In 1916 he was central committeeman for Robinson Township. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and belongs to Hiawatha Council No. 184 of the Knights and Ladies of Security.

Mr. McDonald married in 1909, at Hiawatha, Miss Clara Stewart, daughter of J. S. and Rebecca (Salle) Stewart, who now reside at Hiawatha. Her father is a marble worker and has a marble shop at Hiawatha. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald have two daughters, Vera, born April 12, 1910; and Virginia, born January 19, 1916.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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