was chosen to officially open the first
Carnamah Hall in 1921. During the ceremony he was gifted this silver key
(left) from the people of the district. The reverse side of the key
inscribed with his initials DM.
Donald was well known in WA as a breeder and contributor to horse
racing. One of his horses that competed successfully in Perth and on
the WA goldfields was named Carnamah
. In 1922, just days
before being captured, a local bushranger named
stole one of Donald's horses:
"... the man adopted a peculiar and ingenious method of catching
this horse. He went to the trough where the horses usually went for
their evening drink, and emptied it. The horse came up, and of
course hung about to get a drink. Prisoner put half a bucket of
water in the trough and as the horse was drinking, he caught it with
the rope he had taken off the bucket."
-- The Geraldton Guardian newspaper
Above: Cup presented to Donald Macpherson in
Donald Macpherson died in 1931 and all local businesses were closed on the day
of his funeral. This was as a mark of respect but also because over
300 people were attending his funeral. Many others sent flowers for
his grave, including eight of Carnamah's Aboriginal families.
The last link of the northern telegraph line from Perth to Champion
Bay (Geraldton) was connected at an outbuilding of the Macpherson’s
homestead in 1874. Miss
Maggie Macpherson ran the telegraph office
for 39 years and after the railway
went through in 1894 she also ran
Carnamah's first post office
Donald and their sisters Maggie and Bessie never married and lived
together at their family's homestead
Carnamah until their respective deaths.