Salem Township
Carroll County IL

Hon. Duncan Mackay Jr., a native of Carroll County, is now classed among its foremost citizens; he having much weight and influence in its public affairs, and he is one of its leading farmers and stock-raisers. He is the son of the Hon. Duncan Mackay, a prominent and widely-known gentleman, now a resident of Morrison, Whiteside County, who was formerly identified with the highest interests of this county; having borne an important part in its upbuilding, and in securing its present material prosperity.

Our subject is now residing on the old homestead, on section 28, Oakville, Salem Township, where he was born June 23, 1858. he was the eleventh in order of birth of the twelve children – three sons and nine daughters – born to Duncan and Jessie Mackay, natives of Scotland. Young Mackay was reared on his father’s farm, and acquired the basis of a solid education in the local public schools. He pursued a course of studies at the Mt. Carroll High School; and in 1878 and 1879 was a student in the University at Lake Forest; but, on account of trouble with is eyes, he was obliged to give up the thought of being graduated from that institution of learning. He subsequently finished a business course at the Davenport (Iowa) Business College. In 1882 he made preparations to go to Montana to engage in business; but the house on his father’s homestead was destroyed by fire, and his father not caring to look after his large agricultural interests any further, but desiring to retire to a more quiet and restful life, wished his son to take the farm and relieve him from all responsibility and worry. Our subject yielded to his father’s solicitations; and the father and mother retired to a pleasant home in Morrison. Since then our subject has given his attention wholly to stock-raising and other agricultural pursuits, making a specialty of breeding Percheron horses, of which he has a herd of seventy-five, thorough-breds and high grades, as fine specimens of that particular breed as is to be found in the whole county. His farm comprises 780 acres of land of unsurpassed fertility, under a high state of cultivation, and admirably adapted to the purroses for which he uses it. It is amply supplied with substantial, well-appointed farm buildings, and all the conveniences for carrying on agriculture after the most approved modern methods; and everything about his meat and orderly place bears the stamp of a master hand and mind.

Mr. Mackay has traveled extensively over the United States and Canada. In 1883 he journeyed through Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho territories. He traversed the Yellowstone Valley before the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed, visiting the National Park, and other wonders of that country, on horseback. He has furnished the public, through the metropolitan and local press, descriptions of the places visited. He is a liberal contributor to agricultural papers – the American Breeder, Country Gentleman, Turf, Field and Farm, and other papers, securing his services. His style as a writer is vigorous and graceful; a fair sample of which may be furnished in his description of the scenery about Wichita in his pen-portrait of that city. We copy it from the Wichita (Kans.) Eagle, as copied from the Lena (Ill.) Star: “On Douglas avenue there is an imposing hotel being built. Like Balboa, I bethought me to gaze upon the scene from the heights. So, accordingly, the ladders – seven in number – were climbed, and although the footing was not as secure as one would wish, the view amply repaid the danger.

It is, perhaps, the most scattered city in the Union. To the north is one vast unbroken roll of prairie; to the east the ground rises gradually, and, so far as one can see, they have platted and are building. To the south and east is the finest view that ever fell to mortal eye. It is the land of promise – the New Jerusalem toward which all eyes are now turning. Nothing but distance stops the scene. Far to the south and west flows, like a sliver thread, the grand, crystal, waters of the Arkansas. And, on either side, in a peaceful quiet lies the beautiful valley of the Arkansas; and the open, gently rolling hills, all glowing in a landscape of surpassing beauty, steeped in the golden light of the setting sun. The view is so really splendid , so enchanting, so unlike anything I have ever seen – save the Red River Valley – that, standing in the midst of this modern Mecca, and realizing its hoped-for future and its brilliant dawning, the scene breaks upon one like the discovery of a new planet. It touches a man’s heart-cord like the strains of some half-gotten melody.”

Mr. Mackay is a gentleman of culture, with a clear, well-balanced mind, and marked decision of character, that make him a force in his community; where his frank, easy manners, and genial wit cause him to be cordially welcomed in all social circles. He is warmly interested in all that concerns his native township, district, and county; and never hesitates to lend his best energies to forward all enterprises for their advancement. He is a stanch and able advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and has been a delegate of his party several times to different conventions, and acted in that capacity at the State Convention that nominated ex-Gov. Oglesby prior to his election. But it is as a prominent member of the Republican party, one of its leaders, in this section of Illinois, that he is best known to the public. In the spring of 1888, in the Sixth Congressional District Convention, held at Freeport, Ill., he was chosen Presidential Elector on the Republican ticket, and when the electors met cast his vote for Gen. Harrison, after which the college, in a body, visited Gen. Harrison at his home in Indianapolis. He took the stump early in the campaign, canvassing his entire district, in which he gained a reputation as a forcible and eloquent speaker. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and

Transcribed & Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portraits & Biographical 1889 Pg 1005 Carroll County, p. 1004-1005

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