Dr. Duncan Forbes McDonald was born in 1842 in Lobo Twp, Middlesex County, the son of John and Elizabeth McDonald.
Dr. McDonald married Lorraine Switzer on the 27th of December, 1860 in the former Halton County, now part of Halton Region, Ontario. Mrs. McDonald was born in 1843, the daughter of Matthew and Mary Switzer. At the time of their marriage, Mrs. McDonald resided in Rochester, New York.
Dr. and Mrs. McDonald had 3 children. Their daughter Mary Elizabeth McDonald was born in September of 1862. Their son Charles D. McDonald was born on the 11th of September, 1864 in Hespeler, Ontario. Their son Hugh F. McDonald was born on the 2nd of June, 1868.
According to the 1871 census, Dr. and Mrs. McDonald and their 3 children lived in Lobo Twp, Middlesex County, where Dr. McDonald was a school teacher.
Dr. McDonald graduated M.D. from Victoria College in 1874. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 8th of May, 1877.
Dr. McDonald practiced medicine in Ilderton before moving to Rodney (Elgin County) in 1879. He had a thriving practice in Rodney and he built a large residence on the Main Street that also housed his medical office and a drug store. Dr. McDonald hired a man to look after his horses and to drive him to house calls during the night. Not only did he attend to patients in Elgin County but he frequently crossed the county line and saw patients in Chatham-Kent particularly in the Duart area.
Dr. Duncan McDonald’s daughter Mary Elizabeth married a local merchant in Rodney named John Jacob Mistele and they had 5 children, including a set of twins. One of the twins, Ethel Wilhelmina Mistele died on the 30th of March, 1885 of “congestion of lungs” at the age of 8 months. Her son Ernest Duncan Mistele died at the age of 3 on the 29th of November, 1887 of diptheria. Her youngest baby, a daughter named Catherine was born prematurely on the 15th of December, 1887 and died 2 days later. Mary Elizabeth (McDonald) Mistele died of Erysipelas at the age of 25 on the 27th of December, 1887, only 10 days after baby Catherine. Mary and her three small children are buried at the Churchville Cemetery in Elgin County.
Dr. McDonald’s name appears in the 1888 Farmers and Business Directory under the sub-title of Rodney.
Mrs. Lorraine McDonald died on the 6th of February, 1891. After the death of his wife, Dr. McDonald lived in London with his sons. His son Charles graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1888 and he was awarded the silver medal in his graduating class for academics. According to the 1891 census, his son Hugh was in medical school.
Dr. Duncan Forbes McDonald died of pneumonia in Rodney on the 8th of March, 1892 at the age of 52. Dr. and Mrs. McDonald are buried at the Rodney Cemetery.
*Both of Dr. McDonald’s sons ended up practicing medicine in the state of Wisconsin in the United States. His son, Dr. Charles D. McDonald died in 1907 and he is buried in the Graceland Cemetery in Blanchardville, Wisconsin. In 1930 Dr. Hugh F. McDonald was living and working in Hollandale, Wisconsin where he had lived for many years. Dr. Hugh McDonald died at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario on the 20th of January 1938. He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London. Both of Dr. McDonald’s sons married but neither one had children.