Fonds dcm-19 - Alex McDonald fonds

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Alex McDonald fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of the fonds.

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CA dcm dcm-19

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  • 1910-1917 (Creation)
    McDonald, Alex, ca. 1850-1909

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1.6 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Alexander McDonald was born in Antigonish county in Nova Scotia ca. 1850. He mined at Coldenville and other Nova Scotia mines before heading off to mine in Montana and Aspen, Colorado. He moved to Juneau, Alaska in 1891 and worked at Treadwell Mines. He travelled north to the Yukon in 1895 to the Forty Mile area and worked for a man named Blanchard on 6 Below Miller Creek. After hearing the news of the Discovery on Bonanza, McDonald moved to the Klondike region of the Yukon and staked claims on Eldorado. With the money yeilded by his Eldorado claims he expanded his holdings by buying claims on Eldorado, Bonanza and Upper Dominion. He gained the title of "King of the Klondike" due to his extensive holdings. He was also referred to as "Big Alex" or "Big Moose" because of his large stature, accumulated properties and businesses and generous nature. He owned extensive real estate in Dawson City, Yukon including the Aurora block and the Exchange block. His business ventures included the McDonald Hotel (which burned down in 1904), the McDonald Iron Works, the McDonald Trading Company, and the McDonald Development Company. He met Margaret Chisholm on a business trip to London in 1898 and they were married a year later in London in 1899. They had a son Colin Chisholm born in December of 1903. Alex was renowned for his generosity. He donated over $30,000 to rebuild the St. Mary's Catholic Church after it burned to the ground and financially supported the St. Mary's Hospital. As a result of his generosity to the Catholic Church he was knighted by Pope Leo XIII the Knight of Saint Gregory in 1898 gaining him the title of Sir Alexander McDonald. At one point it was estimated that McDonald was worth over 7 million dollars. He died from a heart attack in 1909 while prospecting on Slough Creek near the Stewart River district in the Yukon. He was penniless at the time. Alex McDonald's funeral was the largest ever attended in Dawson City on January 14, 1909.

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Scope and content

This fonds consists of business papers regarding Alex McDonald's estate: correspondence and descriptions regarding Dawson City,Yukon mining claims, and settlement of accounts between F. X. Gosselin and McDonald: a list of agreements and business transactions between Treadgold, Boyle Concession, Canadian Klondike Company and Alex McDonald.

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1983.41, 1964.2.36, 2004.601.1

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