Manchester New Hampshire Restaurant Innovators: Richard "Dick" and Maurice "Mac" McDonald

There is no doubt that much credit should be given to Ray Krok for the idea of franchising McDonalds’ restaurants.

However, without the brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, and their original McDonald’s drive-in restaurants, today’s mega-corporation would probably never have evolved.

Richard J. “Dick” McDonald was born 16 Feb 1909 and his brother Maurice J. “Morris” McDonald on 26 November 1902 in Manchester, New Hampshire. They were sons of Irish immigrants, managers in the local shoe factories. Dick and Maurice attended the local schools.

In the late 1920’s Dick and Mac McDonald moved to California where they developed drive-in restaurants, that specialized in serving mostly burgers to customers.  This caught the eye of Ray Krok, who convinced the McDonald’s they should franchise, and who eventually bought out their interest in the business.

Dick and Mac were tired of the restaurant business, and happy with the buyout money ($2.71 million plus 1% of gross sales) they received from Ray Krok.  Dick moved back to New Hampshire, settling in Bedford.  Mac died in Riverside California.



McDonald’s Corporation: A Brief History

-Chicago Tribune, “The Man Who Invented Fast Food” (about Richard “Dick” McDonald”)

American businessman who built the McDonald’s fast food empire

Dick and Mac McDonald, Wikipedia

-Nutfield Genealogy: History is Everywhere (Plaque to McDonald Brothers in Manchester NH McDonald’s building)-


Michael/Michall McDonald, born about November 1845-49 in Ireland and died 8 Oct 1891 in Exeter, New Hampshire, of gastritis. He married MaryAnn  Connor/Conners/O’Connor, dau of James & Mary (Blutton) Connor. She was born about 1848-1853 in Ireland and died 11 Mar 1905 in Exeter NH. They immigrated to the United States about 1875 [based on children’s births in Ireland and then in New Hampshire] settling in South New Market, Rockingham Co., NH. They removing to Exeter, New Hampshire, where Michael worked as a foundryman. They are buried in Exeter Cemetery, Exeter NH.
U.S. Census > 1880 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > South Newmarket > District 236
McDonald, Michael W M 35 Laborer Ire Ire Ire
McDonald, Mary W F 32 wife keeping House Ire Ire Ire
McDonald, Patrick W M 7 son at school Ire Ire Ire
McDonald, Annie W F 5 dau at home NH Ire Ire Ire
McDonald, Michael J. W M 3 son at home NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Mary A. W F 1 dau at home NH Ire Ire
Children of Michael & Mary Ann (Connor/Conners/O’Connor) McDonald: [may be more]
1. +Patrick J. McDonald, b Apr 1875 in Ireland
2. Honora McDonald, b. abt 1875 in Ireland; d. 1 Dec 1881 in Exeter NH, age 6.
3. Michael/Michall Joseph McDonald, b. abt 1877 in South New Market, New Hampshire; d. 22 Sep 1894 in Exeter, Rockingham Co. NH of tuberculosis.
4. Walter McDonald, b. 18 July 1881 NH, died 28 February 1913 Newmarket NH
5. Mary Agnes McDonald, b. 4 Oct 1882 NH, died Oct 1964 in Waltham MA; m. 4 Apr 1904 in Exeter, NH to James Chadwick, son of John & Kate (Maguire) Chadwick. He b. 14 Nov 1876 in Canada and d. 1924 in Revere MA.  Children: James Paul Chadwick (1905-1989), Alice Katherine Chadwick (1906-1992) and Robert A. Chadwick (1914-1998)
6. Walter McDonald, b 18 July 1881 NH; d. 28 Feb 1913 in Newmarket NH.
7. Alice McDonald, b. 6 Nov 1882 Exeter, NH; d. 11 Dec 1903 in Exeter NH of tuberculosis.
8. [birth rec says 11th child] Christopher James McDonald, b. 12 Dec 1884 in Exeter, Rockingham Co. NH; d. 15 November 1973 Rockingham Co. NH
9. Annie Ella “Anne” McDonald, b 8 Aug 1886 Exeter NH, died June 1963 New Hampshire; m. 26 Jan 1910 in Exeter, NH to Alexander Davidson, son of Alexander & Sarah (Brown) Davidson.  He b. 5 Feb 1876 in Scotland, and d. 25 Mar 1944 in Lebanon, Grafton Co. NH. In 1920-1940 they were living in Exeter, Rockingham Co. NH; in 1940 living at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Patrick J. McDonald, son of Michael & Mary (Connor) McDonald, born April 1875 in Ireland. He immigrated with his parents to the United States about 1876. He was naturalized about 1900 when he was living in Exeter, Rockingham Co NH. He worked as an overseer or manager in shoe factories.   He married 25 Nov 1899 in Exeter, Rockingham Co. NH to Margaret Curran aka Margarite Currin, dau of Maurice & Mary (Kelly) Curran.  She was born April 1876 in Ireland.  By 1910 they had moved to Manchester, New Hampshire.  By 1937 Patrick, his wife and sons Richard and Maurice moved to Monrovia, California where Patrick opened up a “roadside beverages” stand.  The rest is history.
U.S. Census > 1900 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Exeter > District 191 [Cottage Street]
McDonald, Patrick, Head W M Feb 1875 25 Married 0 yrs Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1876 24 yrs naturalized Overseer, Shoe Factory
McDonald, Margaret wife W F Apr 1876 24 married 0 yrs 0 ch 0 living Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1884 16 yrs in US
–living next door–
McDonald, John, Head W M March 1874 26 married 3 yrs Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1884 16 yrs in country naturalized, Cutter shoe factory
McDonald, Delia wife W F May 1875 25 married 3 yrs 2 ch 2 living Ire Ire Ire immigrated  1875 living US 5 yrs
McDonald, John F. son W M May 1897 3 single NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Helen M. dau W F July 1899 10/12 single NH Ire Ire
Sargent, Barry A. Lodger W M Nov 1868 31 married 6 yrs VT VT VT Cutter, Shoe factory
1910 U.S. Census, Manchester NH
Patrick J McDonald M W 33  m1x 10 yrs Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1877 naturalized Foreman,
Margarite McDonald 33 F W 33 m1x 10 yrs 4 ch 4 living Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1884
Margarite McDonald M W 9  single NH Ire Ire
Morris McDonald M W 7 single NH Ire Ire
Florence McDonald F W 5 single NH Ire Ire
Richard McDonald M W 1  single NH Ire Ire
Cornelius Currin 37  Brother-in-law M W 37 single Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1884 naturalized
1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Manchester Ward 10 > District 120
McDonald, Patrick J. Head M W 42 married imm 1878 naturalized 1900 Ire Ire Ire Foreman, Shoe Factory
McDonald, Margaret A wife F W 42 married imm 1884 naturalized 1900 Ire Ire Ire
McDonald, Margaret H. dau F W 19 single NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Maurice J. son M W 17 single NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Florence G. dau F W 15 single NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Richard L. son M W 10 single NH Ire Ire
McDonald, Mary dau F W 8 single NH Ire Ire
Curran, Cornelius, brother-in-law M W 46 single imm 1884 naturalized 1900 Ire Ire Ire
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Manchester > District 63
McDonald, Patrick Head M W 54 married at age 24 Irish Free State, Ire Ire Foreman, Shoe Factory
McDonald, Margaret A. wife F W 53 married at age 23 Irish Free State, Ire Ire
McDonald, Mary dau F W 18 single NH Irish Free State Ire  Music Teacher
Curran, Cornelius brother-in-law M W 58 single Irish Free State Ire Ire
Children of Patrick & Margaret (Curran) McDonald:
1. Margaret/Margarite McDonald, b 22 Oct 1900 in Exeter, Rockingham Co. NH; married 2 Sep 1929 in Manchester NH to Martin Connolly, son of Thomas and Mary “Maggie” Connolly.  He was b. abt 1881 in NY?
2. *Maurice James “Morris” McDonald, b. 26 Nov 1902 in Manchester NH; d. 11 Dec 1971 in Riverside CA; he m. 25 Jun 1924 in Manchester NH to Madeline Frances Lindquist, dau of John A. & Selma Pauline (Bergstrand) Lindquist.  On his marriage certificate, Maurice McDonald is listed as a shoe-worker, as is his father; Madeline’s father John is listed as a grocer who was born in Sweden.
3. Florence Gertrude McDonald, b. 26 Feb 1905 in Manchester, NH, died 25 Apr 1993 in Fresno, California; m. 15 Apr 1925 in Manchester NH to Joseph O’Day, son of Michael & Marie (Mullen) O’Day; resided 323 Belmont Street (Manchester NH) 1926-1937; Children include: Virginia O’Day (b 1 Apr 1926 NH, d. Sep 1984 CA), Robert O’Day (b 27 Jan 1928 NH and d. Nov 1984 in Pasadena CA) and Donald O’Day (b abt 1934 NH).
4. *Richard Leo aka “Dick” James McDonald, b. 16 Feb 1909 in Manchester NH; d. 14 July 1998 in Manchester NH; (2nd obituary); he married in 1964 to  Mrs. Dorothy Eleanor (Jones) French [his then widowed childhood sweetheart].  She was the daughter of Harry C. & Mabel E. (Hoffman) Jones, b 10 April 1909 and d. 10 Jan 1999, age 89.  Richard and Dorothy had no children. She had married 1st) 24 Apr 1939 in Salem NH to Gale Hartwell French, son of Leon H. & Anna G. (Haskell) French.    A son from her first marriage, Gale H. French (of Belchertown MA) had two children.
5. Mary McDonald, b. abt 1912 Manchester NH

[Story updated February and April 2013]

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8 Responses to Manchester New Hampshire Restaurant Innovators: Richard "Dick" and Maurice "Mac" McDonald

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire’s Irish Myths and Legends | Cow Hampshire

  2. Dan says:

    Does anyone have information on what port the family immigrated through, and if so ships records or ship log signatures that are digitized?

  3. Dan says:

    Only asking as I’m doing some research on the history of the name McDonald in relation to the restaurant.

  4. Dave says:

    Most likely left Ireland and then arrived at Liverpool in the UK then off to the US, where most Irish/English immigrants left for the US, Mcdonald is a popular Irish and Scottish name

  5. Gina says:

    Hi… great piece…thanks! Any idea where in Ireland they came from?

    • Janice Brown says:

      Gina, when I originally researched the family several years ago I could not find anything. I will revisit their family and see what I can discover.

      • Gina says:

        Happy New Year, and thank you so much Janice! I’m just curious as I’m Irish 🙂 I’m doing a Masters in Hospitality Management here in Dublin, and came across your piece while researching for one of my modules which covers Globalization.

  6. Pingback: Mac and Dick McDonald | Cow Hampshire

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