U. S. Army officer; historian; writer. Born– Florence, Ala., June 7, 1927. Parents– William Ervin and Pauline McRann (Lindsey) McDonald. Married– Dorothy Evelyn Carter, November 3, 1945. Children– Two. Education– B.S., University of North Alabama, 1952; Command and General Staff College, 1974; Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1975. Employed by U.S. Army, 1945-1947, 1951-1953; served in the Army Reserves for 38 years; retired with rank of Colonel. Worked for the National Fertilizer Development Center, a division of the Tennessee Valley Authority 35 years; held several positions, retiring in 1988 as Chief of the Budget Staff.  Ordained United Methodist minister; served as pastor of several small churches. Florence City Historian, 1989-2009. Member of various historical organizations including the  American Bicentennial Commission, Florence, Tennessee Valley Historical Society, North Alabama Historical Society, Sons of the Confederacy, and Alabama Historical Commission. Awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, University of North Alabama, 2006. Died June 20, 2009.


Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, 1978; obituary


Beginnings of the University of North Alabama:  The Story of Florence Wesleyan University.  Birmingham Printing and Publishing Co., 1991.

Civil War Tales of the Tennessee Valley. Killen, AL: Heart of Dixie Publishing, 2003.

Following the Vision: 1822-21st Century–A History of the First Methodist Church of Florence, Alabama.  Florence: Country Lane Printing, 2001.

History of the First United Methodist Church, Florence, Alabama, 1822-1984. Birmingham, Ala.; Birmingham Printing and Publishing Co., 1983.

Legacy of our Lindseys.  Florence: Mitchell Printing Co., 1993.

Lore of the River; the Shoals of Long Ago. Florence, Ala.; Florence Historical Board, 1989.

Old North Field. Birmingham, Ala.; Birmingham Printing Co., 1986.

Paths in the Brier Patch. Huntsville, Ala.; Strode, 1979; rpt. Florence; Bluewater Publications, 2007.

The Story of Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.  W. L. McDonald, 1989.

A Walk through the Past:  People and Places of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama.  Florence:  Country Lane Printing, 1997; rpt. Bluewater Publications, 2003..


Follow the River:  A History of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama.  Florence:  Heritage Preservation, Inc., 2004.

Heritage of American Methodism.  Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1999.

Judi Letters.  Bluewater Publications, 2008.

Remembering Sweetwater: The Mills, The Mansions, The People.  Killen, AL:  Heart of Dixie Publishing, 2002.

Sweetwater:  The Story of East Florence, 1818-1940. Florence Historical Board, 1989.

Sweetwater: Yesteryears. Florence; Mitchell Printing Co., 1990.


The William Lindsey McDonald Collection is held by the Collier Library at the University of North Alabama.