Treading the - Reuben MacDonald

Reuben MacDonald


Reuben MacDonald (1870-1942)

Benjamin “Reuben" MacDonald was born on 4 July 1870 in Georgetown, Prince Edward Island, to William and Elizabeth MacDonald, née Gordon. He had two brothers and two sisters: Ralph, William, Matilda, and Amanda.

Reuben attended Georgetown school in 1885, and was a student noted for “good work” in multiple subjects. This was just the beginning of his academic success, Reuben would lead Prince Edward Island in entrance marks for Prince of Wales College; where he remained in the top of his class and was the recipient of many prizes. Reuben’s siblings Ralph, Matilda, and Amanda were also class-leaders.

After finishing his education, Reuben was a schoolteacher for ten years, as well as a bookkeeper in local firms in Georgetown. He joined the staff of the Patriot newspaper in 1900.

Sadly, in March 1919, Reuben and his wife Emma Alice Roper lost a child, Athol William MacDonald born on 13 Oct 1917, he died at age 17 months. Athol was survived by his sisters, Jean Elizabeth (4 Sep 1920) and Doris Helen (10 Nov 1921).

In 1929, Reuben became editor-in-chief and managing director of the Patriot, for which he would also become a publisher and major shareholder. He was extremely serious about politics, dedicating time to publicly support the Liberals, while defending attacks from the Conservative paper, The Guardian.

He continued to manage the Patriot until his death on 10 July 1942 at the age of 73.

In UPEI's Provenance collection, the book Treading the Winepress by Ralph Connor, has the inscription "Reuben MacDonald, Charlottetown, December 1st 1925" on the inside cover.


Mair, Nathan H. Georgetown stories 1786-1950. Charlottetown, P.E.I.: N.H. Mair, 2000. 21.

Mair, Nathan H. Genealogical resource for Georgetown, P.E.I. - Volume 1. Georgetown, P.E.I. N.H. Mair, 2000. 51, 62, 84.

“Political fight delights editor." The Guardian [Charlottetown] 18 Nov. 1964: 13. Island Newspapers. Web.

“‘The Patriot’ records news of a century for the Island.” The Guardian [Charlottetown] 18 Nov. 1964: 11. Island Newspapers. Web.

Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index. Prince Edward Island, Canada: Public Archives and Records Office.

1911 Census of Canada. Census Place: 35, Georgetown, Burnt Point, Georgetown Royalty. District: 139 Kings, Page: 1, Family No. 4.

1921 Census of Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 105; Census Place: Charlottetown (City), Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page Number: 3.

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