The Donald C. Macdonald Papers are organized into five series.
Series I: Political Materials
Series II: Personal Materials
Series III: Business
Series IV: Newspaper Clippings
Series V: Scrapbooks and Ledgers
Donald Chester Macdonald was born July 26, 1891, to Neil and Isabelle (McLeod) Macdonald, in Hannah, North Dakota. He was inducted into the army at Roundup, Montana, on October 3, 1917, and served during World War I. He was discharged at Camp Lewis, Washington, on April 6, 1918, as a private. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1926.
Macdonald became active in politics after his return from the war and following the development of the Nonpartisan League in 1916. He was a candidate for the State Legislature in 1924 and for Congress in 1926. He was secretary of the Grand Forks County NPL from 1928 to 1938 and was chairman of William Langer's successful campaign for governor in 1932. In 1933, he was appointed a member of the Republican State Central Committee, serving through 1936. From 1936 to 1938, Macdonald was Grand Forks County Republican chairman. Prior to United States entry in World War II, he organized the North Dakota chapter of America First, a political group against U.S. involvement in the war.
Macdonald was an insurance agent in Grand Forks from 1925 through 1943 and reportedly wrote the first group hospital insurance program in the country in 1926. He was also a correspondent for the United Press for northern Minnesota and North Dakota from 1922 until 1940. From 1933 through 1936, he was district inspector for the State Regulatory Department and in 1951 was district inspector for the Attorney General's Licensing Department.
Macdonald was a Mason, Shriner, and an American Legionnaire. He was president of the Grand Forks Chess Club and from 1949 until the early 1960s was on the board of directors for the U.S. Chess Federation.
On September 25, 1928, Macdonald married Evelyn Salt. They had three children. He died December 9, 1969, in Grand Forks, and is buried in Hannah.