Weblog: Sam McDonald Was Generosity Personified

With a commanding 6 foot 4 inch presence, he was a delicate soul. His circle of mates amongst college students and school was immense.

On New 12 months’s Day, 1864, Eugene B. (Sam) McDonald was born in Monroe, Louisiana. His grandparents had been slaves. In 1896, his household moved to Southern California to boost sugar beets. It was a brief keep. The next 12 months they got here north to Gilroy.

Sam McDonald. Stanford archives

In 1900, the household headed additional north to Washington state. Once they received as far north as Oregon, younger Sam determined he wished to return to California.

Ultimately, he ended up in Mayfield, which is a part of Palo Alto. There he grew to become a horse driver for the Palo Alto Inventory Farm. In 1903, he started working at Stanford College. This relationship grew to become a love affair, and would span some 50 years. Ultimately, he grew to become Superintendent of Athletic Grounds and Buildings.

Whereas there, he took a course on regulation and have become a Secret Service Agent for the Treasury Division as Deputy Constable of Palo Alto township and Deputy Sheriff of Santa Clara County.

In 1917 he started buying property in and round La Honda and Alpine Creek. He was the primary black particular person to personal property within the redwoods.

He was beloved on “The Farm.” With a commanding 6 foot 4 inch presence, but he was a delicate soul. His circle of mates amongst college students and school was immense. The President of Stanford, Dr. Ray Lyman Wilber, as soon as stated he “was glad he didn’t should run towards Sam, for I might worry the outcomes.”

One in all Sam’s favourite tasks was the Stanford Convalescent Residence for Underprivileged Youngsters, which was on the campus. There he planted in depth gardens to beautify the property. He additionally cooked many barbecues for the youngsters. In 1970, the house would develop into generally known as the Youngsters’s Hospital at Stanford. In 1991, the identify was modified to Lucille Packard Youngsters’s Hospital.

Sam with the youngsters he took care of. Stanford archives

In November 1957, Sam handed on the grand age of 93 years outdated.

He left his 400-acre property in La Honda to Stanford College, which had allowed him a lot alternative and happiness. McDonald requested that his property be used as a park to profit folks.

In 1958, San Mateo County acquired the property, committing it to public use. 4 hundred fifty further acres had been developed in 1970 and added to the unique, bringing the whole acreage to 867.

Every part else is simply historical past

A few of the photographs used on this weblog are courtesy of the Native Historical past Room, Redwood Metropolis’s best-kept secret. The Native Historical past Assortment covers all facets of Redwood Metropolis’s improvement, from the 1850s to the current day, with explicit emphasis on companies, public colleges, civic organizations, metropolis businesses, and early household histories. The Native Historical past Room will not be affiliated with the Redwood Metropolis Public Library, however it’s inside it. 

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