Born in 1817 in St Raphael's, Ontario, Donald Alexander Macdonald studied at St Raphael's College under the first Catholic Bishop of Ontario, Alexander Macdonell. He became a railway contractor and was elected as a member of the Assembly of Upper Canada from 1857 to 1867. He was a Member of Parliament from 1867 to 1875, and served as Postmaster-General. In 1875 Macdonald was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and held that post until 1880. He died in Montreal in 1896.