Dr. Donald Macrae Jr.

Donald Macrae Jr. was born January 24, 1870 to Donald and Charlotte Macrae. Donald spent his early years in Council Bluffs and later attended Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL and Morgan Park Military Academy in Morgan Park, IL. He spent two years at the University of Iowa, then two years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he graduated with a degree in Medicine.

He returned to Council Bluffs where he began practicing medicine until the outbreak of the Spanish American war. He enlisted in 1898 and was appointed 1st Lieutenant and assistant surgeon of the 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The unit was sent to the Philippines for 18 months.

In 1891 Dr. Macrae married Mary Virginia Miller of Omaha. They had two children, a daughter Marion and a son, Donald III.

In 1904 Donald was elected Mayor, an office he held for two terms. He was known to take city issues into his own hands. Shortly after becoming mayor, he led a raid on the gambling rooms of the Krug Saloon. Later that same evening he shut down the Manhattan Place on Broadway. When the men tried to run away, Macrae pulled out his Colt revolver and persuaded the gamblers to stay put.

In early 1916 Dr. and Mrs. Macrae left for an extended stay in Arizona. He returned to Council Bluffs after 4 months in order to serve with the Iowa Guard on the Mexican border. He was put in charge of the government hospital in Brownsville, TX. He returned home at the beginning of 1917.

When the U.S. declared war on Germany in 1917, Dr. Macrae organized Red Cross Hospital Unit K. With local volunteers and donations from all of southwest Iowa, Unit K sailed for France January 1918.
After a few months in France Unit K became the nucleus of Mobile Hospital No. 1. Dr. Macrae was put in command of the unit. Dr. Macrae was later promoted to Colonel. Mobile Hospital No.1, Dr. Macrae and serveral other members of the unit were awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Dr. Macrae received the distinguished service cross from the U.S. Government.

After the war Dr. Macrae, resumed his local practice and was once again involved in local matters. He was instrumental in getting the Hotel Chieftain built and helped establish the Council Bluffs Clinic.

On December 31, 1931, after performing surgery at a local hospital, Dr. Macrae fell ill upon his return home. He developed pneumonia and died on January 10, 1932. He was buried in Walnut Hill Cemetery with full military honors.

Mary Macrae was just as active as her husband in local matters. She organized Comfort Clubs, a forerunner of the USO, during the Spanish American War and the Mexican Border War. Mrs. Macrae created the Unit K Club during World War 1. In 1931 she announced herself as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, but later dropped out of the race. Mary Macrae passed away on February 8, 1945 and is buried in Walnut Hill Cemetery.