Welcome to the website that celebrates the life of Milton Earl MacDonald, a much-loved father of seven grateful children and thirteen grandchildren.
Milton Earl MacDonald’s Early life:
Milton was born into a large family in 1915 in Hope, Rhode Island. U.S.A. Hope is a village in the town of Scituate located in Providence County, Rhode Island.
The following card, saved for nearly one-hundred years, shows Milton to be a healthy child.
Milton was among the new Hope Grammar School’s first graduating class in June of 1929. “The new Hope Grammar school, one of the best appointed and most modern in the Pawtuxet Valley and the only public building of Colonial design in this section of the State, was dedicated with impressive exercises last evening” according to the The Providence Journal’s January 12, 1929 edition.
The students who were in the first graduating class in the new Hope School are pictured on the right of the above June 22, 1929 newspaper article in The Providence Journal.
Named are From Left to Right in the First Row: Alfred Moan, Florence Schoff, Milton MacDonald. Second Row, Left to Right: Elsie Tarbox, Dorothy Saucier, Hazel Brayton and Earl Groves.
Milton and Earl Groves remained friends into adulthood. Earl and his wife, Theo, and Milton, and his wife, Audrey, would double date, using Milton’s sister’s Gladys’ car–a beautiful little Roaster–and always go to the Saturday night dance at Apponaugh Grange Hall or Shrub Hill (country barn).
The entire June 22, 1929 newspaper article (above) reads: “Picture at the Upper Left Shows the Chorus Made Up of Pupils of the School Which Assisted in the Graduation Exercises. There are 45 Children in the Group, and They Were Trained by Miss Dorothy Coyle, at Extreme Right, One of the Teachers of the School. In the Centre at the…Are Teachers in the School, From Left to Right: Miss Mildred Hamm, Miss Marguerite Day, Miss Harriet Golding and Principal King in Back. At the Upper Right Are the Graduates. From Left to Right: Alfred Moan, Florence Schoff, Milton MacDonald. Second Row, Left to Right: Elsie Tarbox, Dorothy Sauceir, Hazel Brayton and Earl Groves. At the Lower Left, From Left to Right Are Hazel Moan, President of the Recently Formed Hope School Alumni Association and Mrs. Ida Grant, Chairman of the Social Committee in Charge of the Reception to…Graduates Which Followed the Graduation. At the Lower Right is Mrs. Daniel A. Clarke, a Member of the Scituate School Committee and of the Special Committee Which Had Charge of the Building of the Hope School. She is Also a Past President of the Parent Teacher Association, and Was Accorded the Honor of Awarding the Diplomas at This, the First Graduation.”
The Alumni Association Gives a Reception to the Graduates in the first class of the new school in Hope on June 22nd, 1929. Each graduate participated in the program. Milton recited “Incident of the French Camp” by Robert Browning. Milton’s older sister, Gladys continued to live in Hope and her daughter found this news article and made this available for Milton’s website.
One year after receiving (6-20-1929) his diploma from the new Hope Grammar School, Milton received (6-18-1930) his Certificate of Promotion from the West Warwick School Department. He had completed the eighth grade. The certificate states he has completed the course of study prescribed for the ninth grade in the West Warwick Junior High School and is entitled to admission to the West Warwick Senior High School.
Milton’s birth certificate is from the records of the city of Cranston, Rhode Island. Whereas Milton’s father has Hope, Rhode Island as his place of birth, both Milton and his mother have Fiskeville as their place of birth. According to Wikipedia, “Fiskeville is a small village in the south west corner of Cranston, Rhode Island, and the south east corner of the Town of Scituate, Rhode Island and across the northern side of Coventry, Rhode Island. Fiskeville is located close to the center of Rhode Island.” Hope Village is in the town of Scituate.
Explanation of post-it arrows in above map: West Warwick, where Milton went to Junior High School (and also where Audrey and Milton purchased their home in 1943) is in Kent County. Cranston and Scituate are in Providence County. Fiskeville’s (a small village in Cranston) Main Street forms the border between Cranston and Scituate. Hope Village is in the town of Scituate.
“Scituate was first settled in 1710 by emigrants from Scituate, Massachusetts. The original spelling of the town’s name was “Satuit”, a native Indian word meaning “cold brook” or “cold river.” The town was a part of Providence until 1731.” (wikipedia.org)
Milton’s certificates of Baptism and Membership into the Tabernacle Baptist Church, Fiskeville, Rhode Island are recorded in the booklet, “What Saith the Scripture?”
Milton was baptized March 29th, 1931 when he was age sixteen. He was baptized by immersion which was and is the Baptist tradition. The twenty-eight page booklet, published by the American Baptist Publication Society asks the question, “What constitutes baptism? Is it sprinkling, pouring or immersion?”Of interest to this web site author is the definition of the word baptize as recorded in the booklet on page 14. “The word baptize is transferred directly from the classical Greek and means, according to the Greek lexicon, ‘To dip, to immerge, to submerge.’ ”
Later in life, Milton was greatly troubled because wars were often fought over religious institutional differences and were fought because of religious intolerance. He was questioning the value of the institutional religious structures. He was questioning the value of religious doctrine which alienated one people from another. Different religious verbiage was the basis for or the motivating factor for wars. Was religious institutions a vehicle for the good in human nature, or a vehicle to bring out the bad in human nature. How tragic that a positive reality could be used as a negative, very-destructive reality.
Milton was a deep thinker. He seldom spoke, but when he spoke, people listened. He did not bother with small talk, but his brilliant mind was often questioning great thoughts and ideas. His main hobbies were chess, gardening and music.
This website comprises a condensed biography of Milton’s life:
- Early Life
- Family of Origin
- Marriage and Family (including Milton’s hobbies of chess, gardening)
- Work History and Musical Career
- Ancestry (including Scot clan tartans, Walton cemetery)
Additional information will be added to this site when it becomes available. Web site author is not a expert on Scottish history, lace weaving or welding occupations, genealogical research, Scottish traditions, Rhode Island geography, Fretted Instruments, etc. The web site author has never traveled to Scotland. Information on this web site is from memories, oral traditions, saved news clippings and other documents as well as research from books, maps, magazines, internet and interviews of the many MacDonald friends and relatives in the states. Information was added — and will continue to be added — as it relates to Milton’s ancestry in Scotland and Nova Scotia, Canada and Milton’s life in the United States of America.
Web site author is indebted to Milton’s niece, Catherine, who is a member of the new Hope Historical Society Board of Directors. Catherine, the daughter of Milton’s older sister, Gladys, has supplied the web site author with much information on Hope, Rhode Island and on the MacDonald, Walton–including Walton Cemetery–and Kenyon families from Hope, Scituate, and Cranston area of Rhode Island, United States of America .
Highlights of above article: “More than 1,000 cannons are said to have been produced in the village of Hope, supporting the Revolutionary War effort more than 200 years ago. … The mission of the Society shall be to obtain, identify, preserve and restore artifacts, literature and photographs pertaining to the history of the village of Hope, R.I. and its surrounding area; for the purpose of providing an educational and information resource for the citizens of Hope Village and all other interested parties. … to shared and enjoy stories of childhood, and in the process, perhaps preserve a way of life. This was small town USA … .”
Website author is also indebted to Milton’s son, Douglas, for his research into the MacDonald ancestry, including interviewing the older generation, visiting the New York cousins, and traveling to Nova Scotia, as well as New England for official records.
Web author is grateful to Milton’s son, Spencer, for information on the Lace Weaving trade and to Milton’s nephew, Bruce, for encouragement to continue with Milton’s web site as well as sending some important information . Thanks, also, to Milton’s nephew, Mark, for MacDonald and Walton pictures that were very old, but new to the web author. Milton’s nephew, Gordon, and his wife, Bette, gave information that helped with research for this site.
Of course, web site author is indebted to her mother and Milton’s wife of 60 years, Audrey Mae, who saved many of the news articles in scrapbooks and who was able to impart this knowledge of the value of historical/genealogical research and writing to her descendants.
Vaughn, Spencer, Walton, and MacDonald Press, Hemet, California 92544 Copyright © 2014 by Heather D. MacDonald
“MacDonald,Walton and Kenyon descendants, if you have any additional information on Milton MacDonald’s ancestral line please add a comment to this web site and the web site author will add this to the site. Thanks!” (Contact Us-on upper right side of page)