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Duncan J. Macgillivray


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"Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 62-64.


       The term a "self-made" man is perhaps trite but is also expressive and in its best sense it finds exemplification in the life of Duncan J. MacGillivray, who, starting out in life with only the asset of a common-school education, has won for himself a creditable name and place in business circles, now operating largely in real estate in the northwest with offices in Spokane. He was born Ontario, Canada, February 5, 1866, and is a son of Duncan A. and Mary (MacLellan) MacGillivray. The father was born in Canada, representing an old Scotch family, whose genealogy is traced back in 1251. They were one of the leading clans of Scotland and won fame on the battlefield of Culloden. In many other connections the name prominently as representatives of the family took active part in defending the interests of the country or in upholding the name and honor of the clan. Duncan A. MacGillivray became a pioneer farmer and lumberman of Canada, being actively connected with the lumber business on the Ottawa river for a number of years. He also held different offices and positions of public trust in Canada. He died in 1902. His wife, who was born in Ontario, died in 1892. She represented one of the early families of Canada of Scotch lineage. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan A. MacGillivray were parents of four sons and three daughters. Andrew, residing at Ottawa, Canada. Dan, who is engaged in the lumber business in Wisconsin. Duncan J., and Kenneth who was drowned in the Ottawa river in 1888. The daughters, Christy Ann and Mary died in childhood. Adeline, now Mrs. MacIntyre, resides in Montreal, Canada.
       Mr. MacGillivray's connection with the northwest dates from the fall of 1897, when he arrived in Lewiston, Idaho. The following year he embarked in business there as a dealer in furniture and house furnishings. He began with a small store and stock, but such was his energy and capable management that when he sold out in 1909 he was the foremost representative of this line of trade in that state. He had improved and enlarged his establishment until it was the best furniture store in Idaho and his success was known throughout the northwest. While he won success in his commercial undertaking he also found time and opportunity to cooperate in movements for the general good, taking an active part in the upbuilding of the community, serving for eight years as a director of the Chamber of Commerce and as president during last year of his residence there. He also served as a director of the fair association for six years and then as president for one year, taking part in all of the projects for its development, giving largely of his time, energy and money in promoting the interests of the community.
       In the spring of 1910 Mr. MacGillivray came to Spokane, where he has since engaged in the real-estate business, buying and selling property for himself and others. He is connected and represents, in the northwest, several of the largest Canadian companies, who are promoting and developing the unlimited resources of western Canada, especially British Columbia. He believes and is enthusiastic about the future of the Inland Empire and since coming to this city, has invested heavily in Spokane real estate. He is thoroughly acquainted with real-estate values in the northwest and the outlook of the real-estate market, and the spirit of progressiveness which he brings to his business is contributing not only to his individual success but also to the development of this section of the country.
       On the 26th of December, 1900, at Spokane, Mr. MacGillivray was married to Miss Schaeffer, who was a daughter of an Iowa merchant, now deceased, and is a descendant of Captain Wadsworth's family. They have become parents of three children, Marion, Duncan John, Jr., and John Duncan, the eldest being nine years of age. The family attend the Presbyterian church and Mr. MacGillivray is identified with various fraternal organizations, being now a chapter Mason (his membership in lodge and chapter being Wisconsin), and a Knight Templar of Lewiston Commandery. He is also connected with the Elks lodge and belongs likewise to the Woodmen of the World. In politics he is connected with the progressive wing of the Republican party but has decline all political advancement, preferring that his public service shall be done as a private citizen and in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce. He stands today a strong man--strong in his honor and his good name. Strong in his ability to plan and perform, and is regarded as one of the influential residents of Spokane.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

* * * * Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individuals featured in the biographies.


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