Margaret MacDonald Stanton



Margaret MacDonald


Margaret Price MacDonald was born in New Concord, Muskingum County, Ohio on October 22, 1845.  She grew up in New Concord, and attended Muskingum College for three years.  In 1863, the MacDonald family moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  While residing in Mount Pleasant, she completed college at Mount Pleasant Female Seminary, graduating in 1868.  She educated herself in the French language by living for a time with a French-Canadian family.  She taught the family English, and learned their language in return.  She began her teaching career in Iowa’s public schools and then was hired by Iowa State as Preceptress and Instructor in English and French.  She began her work at the college in the Spring of 1871.


From the time she joined the Iowa State community, Margaret MacDonald made an impact on those around her.  College President William Beardshear described her classroom work:


Her teaching was characterized by the completest thoroughness—a thoroughness that entered into the smaller details and accuracies which determine the perfection of scholarship and the integrity of learning.


English Professor W.H. Wynn recalled his colleague’s good advice:


When I first entered upon my work here, I found her department lying closely contiguous to my own, and had frequent occasion to carry my perplexities, and plans, and classroom complications to her, and I never found her judgment at fault.


Students, too, were fond of Miss MacDonald.  The student newspaper said of her:


She was very successful as a teacher and was loved for her devotion and tact in the varied duties she was called upon to perform.


During her years as a faculty member, she was also a help to her family in Mount Pleasant.  She assisted her parents in paying off their farm, and provided for the education of her four younger siblings.



James and Mary MacDonald’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Front row, left to right:  Mary Grumman MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald Stanton, James MacDonald.  Back row:  Florence MacDonald Wishard, Mary MacDonald Knapp, Edwin MacDonald, Anna MacDonald Waugh, Janet MacDonald Chipman, 1893.  Taken on the steps of The Maples.  Photograph from Stanton, Edgar W. III, The Trek of James MacDonald.  Live Oak, California : The Author, 1989.




Margaret MacDonald Edgar and Margaret Stanton Iowa State Mourns

Death Mask of Margaret MacDonald Stanton

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