Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
DONALD URQUHART is one of the busiest
men who own interests in Douglas county. His career reads like a
fairy tale owing to the rapidity of his movements and the abundant success
that has attended him in all his efforts. Not that his life has been
free from hardships and obstacles, for it will be seen that he has met
the rugged side of business activity, but the energy and sagacity that
have led him to surmount that which others would have given up to stand
all the more prominent in the light of prosperity that he has won.
Donald Urquhart was born in Wevis, Scotland,
on November 12, 1853, being the son of Ducan and Catherine (McIntosh) Urquhart,
both natives of Wevis. The schools of his native place furnished
the educational training for Donald and he grew to young manhood surrounded
by salutary home influences and amid the rugged hills of Scotia's historic
land. During the portions of the year when not occupied with his
studies, he was assisting his father in his work as stock fancier.
Soon after his eighteenth birthday, young Urquhart determined to bid farewell
to the native heath and seek his fortune in the new world where opportunities
were more in accord with his progressive spirit. On March 13, 1871,
he first set foot on American soil, New York being the gate of reception,
whence he went soon to his brother's home in Fayette, Upper Michigan.
This brother, Leo, had come to America some time previous to this.
Our subject soon secured employment in the machine shop of the Jackson
Iron Company, where he wrought for two years. The next move was to
wend his way to the Golden Gate and for a time on the Pacific slope he
was numbered with the sheep herders, after which experience, we see him
in Portland in the Web-Foot State. Here he joined his brother and
after several months they went to Silver City, Idaho, Donald soon being
installed as engineer in the coal mines there. We next find him in
Boise, again in the sheep business whence he went to Carson City, Nevada
and from there to Portland. He was then engaged by the O. S. N. Co.
in their steamboating work, and he gained the position of chief engineer,
remaining six years with this company. Mr. Urquhart still holds his
marine engineer's license. Immediately subsequent to this extended
service, Mr. Urquhart, in company with his two brothers, Alexander and
George, came to Douglas county and located on Crab creek, where they purchased
a stock ranch and a large band of sheep. This venture was a success
from the inception as also were the other enterprises that Mr. Urquhart
had in tow. In company with his brother, Alexander, our subject had
a large ranch in Oregon, near the John Day river. A second cousin
of the Urquhart boys was at this ranch and one day they were in bathing
and getting beyond his depth he was in danger of drowning, when Alexander
regardless of his own safety in the treacherous rapids, rushed to the rescue.
The rushing water was too much, even for that young man's skill and strength,
for he was drawn under and they were both drowned. Our subject hurried
to the scene and for ten days and nights, he dragged the river with others
and finally, when all were about ready to abandon the search, being worn
almost to helplessness, they were rewarded by finding the bodies.
This was a severe blow to Mr. Urquhart. Alexander was his twin brother
and they had always pulled together and were partners in almost every venture.
Nine years since, our subject sold his Crab creek interests to his brother,
George, although he still owns much property in Douglas county. In
1897, Mr. Urquhart embarked in the retail and wholesale butcher business
in Spokane with his brother, under the firm name of Urquhart Brothers.
They did well until the fire destroyed their entire business and entailed
heavy losses. Then they withdrew from that business. In 1901,
Mr. Urquhart was one of the organizers of the State Bank in Wilsoncreek,
Douglas county and is president of that institution at this time.
The bank was incorporated for twenty-five thousand dollars and is doing
a large business at this time. On December 16, 1903, Mr. Urquhart
organized the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Spokane and at the present
time is launching that promising financial institution. The place
of business is on the corner of North Monroe and Broadway and the bank
starts out with a fine outlook. Mr. Urquhart is also president of
the Farmers' Grain & Supply Company. He is giving his personal
attention to the Farmers & Mechanics Bank and will spend considerable
time in Spokane. Mr. Urquhart still personally manages his other
large interests in Douglas county and in other sections, always manifesting
that keen discrimination and foresight that always characterize the truly
Mr. Urquhart was married to Miss Abbey McClennan.
In political matters, Mr. Urquhart is allied
with the Republicans and he always manifests a keen interest in the campaigns,
being a progressive man and a hard worker for the good of the community
and the general advancement.