Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: Thomas Carson McDonald born November 2, 1854 – photograph


mcdonald thomas carson.jpgTHOMAS CARSON McDONALD


(b. 1854 AL d. 1923)

Greensboro, and Birmingham, Alabama

Thomas Carson McDonald is in the real estate and laundry business at Birmingham. He was born in Greensboro, Ala., November 2, 1854. His father was William Jackson McDonald, born in Greensboro Alabama, in November 1824 and his grandfather was William J. McDonald, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who was reared in Virginia. Thomas’ grandfather was married to Betsy Perkins and settled at St. Stephens in 1812, once the capital of Alabama territory.

Thomas Carson McDonald’s father, William served in the C. S. Army, first at Fort Morgan, and later in the army of Northern Virginia. He was a successful merchant of Greensboro, Alabama but meeting with reverses he removed to Birmingham in 1871 and purchased for $200 the second lot ever sold in this city. The lot was sold by his heirs in December 1901 for $100,000, net. His father entered actively into business at Birmingham and was one of the first aldermen of the city. He gathered another fortune, and died in August 1890 and possessed fine respect and confidence of the entire community.

Thomas Carson McDonald’S mother was Cynthia Madison, daughter of Peyton and Hannah (Webster) Madison. Peyton Madison, a native of England moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia with his family and then to Virginia where he married. His father was the son of a Revolutionary soldier and Peyton was a veteran of Indian wars under General Jackson and a relative of James Madison. After the Creek War in 1814, Peyton Madison came to Erie, Greene county, Alabama in the days when Alabama was a territory. Cynthia was born and reared near Greensboro and died in 1881.

Thomas Carson McDonald resided at Greensboro and attended the common schools, until seventeen years of age. He accompanied his father to Birmingham and Thomas dug the place for a foundation of one of the first buildings erected in this city. He hauled the material with an ox team. In 1878 he moved to Tuscaloosa but returned to Birmingham in 1885 and made investments in real estate.

Thomas served eight years on the police force, as sergeant, lieutenant, and captain, and for eight additional years as chief, making good records in all these positions. He was the proprietor of the White Swan laundry one of the best equipped plants in the South but was largely interested in Birmingham real estate. He was a Baptist, a Red Man and Knight of Pythias, and a member of the Commercial club of Birmingham.

He was married in Sumter county, Alabama. January 20, 1881, Annie Brackett Isbell (b. 1854 d. 1917) daughter of Capt. James Bates Isbell, Sr. (b. 1813 d. 1857) a planter in Sumter County, Alabama and his wife Elizabeth Ann Branch (b. 1823 d. 1907).

To them were born three children,

  1. Thomas Carson McDonald, Jr., who died when one year old;
  2. Kenneth Madison McDonald
  3. Aleta Bracktt McDonald

Mr. McDonald was an active Democrat; attended many of the political conventions. Thomas Carson McDonald died April 10, 1923, in Birmingham and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama. His wife, Annie died Dec. 27, 1917, in Tuscaloosa. She is buried in Elmwood as well.



  1. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  2. Notable men of Alabama By Joel Campbell DuBose Vol. III
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 121991586 # 121991628 # 66268448 # 98458797 

This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume V

Check out genealogy books and novels by Donna R. Causey


About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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