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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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MCDOUGALL, ALEXANDER KEY (1831-1890)

MCDOUGALL, ALEXANDER KEY, land surveyor, road supervisor, and health board official; b. Miramichi, c1831, s/o Colin McDougall and Margaret Davidson; m. 1869, Mary M. Walsh; d. Oak Point, 25 Jan 1890.

Alexander K. McDougall's parents were married in an Anglican ceremony, but he was raised as a Catholic in the home which his parents shared at Oak Point with his mother's brother James Davidson. He followed his uncle in becoming a land surveyor, but this was only a part-time occupation with him. He was also commissioner of 'great roads' in the district north of the Miramichi for many years and keeper of the post office at Oak Point. It was stated in the Miramichi Advance that he performed his public duties with "the greatest fidelity and exactness," and that "no man in Northumberland surpassed him for kindness and hospitality."

In 1867 McDougall succeeded his uncle as secretary of the special Northumberland and Gloucester Board of Health which was responsible for the conduct of the leprosy lazaretto at Tracadie. Unfortunately, quarreling erupted among members of the board during his term, which ultimately rendered the board incapable of functioning. In the course of events, he was dismissed as secretary by a majority vote of the board. Since he had been appointed secretary by the provincial government, however, and not by the board, he reciprocated by refusing to relinquish the board's books. The stalemate lasted until 1879, when he and all other members were removed by a notice in The Royal Gazette and replaced by Pierre Landry and Michael Adams of the New Brunswick Executive Council. A year later the provincial government abolished the board and transferred responsibility for the lazaretto to the federal Department of Agriculture.

Because McDougall had conducted himself more honorably than a number of the other members of the health board, he continued to occupy a position of respect in the Miramichi community. When he died in 1890 the Union Advocate described him as "one of our most estimable citizens, in his public and private relations giving evidence of unblemished and sterling character." His named survivors were his wife, Mary M. Walsh, a daughter, and a sister.

Sources

[m] Advocate 4 Feb 1869 [d] Advance 30 Jan 1890 / Advance 10 Oct 1889; Advocate 4 Oct 1876, 2 Apr 1879, 30 Apr 1879, 29 Jan 1890; Losier/Pinet; official records (parents' marriage); Royal Gazette 14 Dec 1879


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