Dr. Charles Sidney McDonald

Dr. Charles Sidney McDonald

Dr. Charles Sidney McDonald and his wife, Martha “Mattie” Nicklas McDonald, the daughter of Joseph and Dorathy Hayes Nicklas, came to Spearsville in 1905. They lived in a home about a quarter mile south of the stores of Spearsville on the old McDonald home place. (Located where the Drusey Mae Senn house stands today). His father and mother were Lopez and Mary Pickens McDonald. The couple had two small boys, Guy and Ray. In December 1905, Dr. Mac bought a lot in Spearsville from Carroll and Clark. The lot was described as bounded on the East by the Spearsville – El Dorado road, on the South by the Spearsville – Lillie road and on the West by J. S. Cobb lot known as the shop lot and on the North by the storehouse.

In his younger days, Dr. Mac’s sweetheart had been Dollie Breazeal, who later married John Cullen Elliott, Jr. Dr. Mac had married Mattie Nicklas. Cull had a wandering eye and liked his spirits. Dollie knew of Cull’s indiscretions and grew tired of them. She began seeing Dr. Mac who consoled her. She had decided to marry Cull instead Dr. Mac because at the time Cull treated her okay and he could afford her a good living. A doctor’s income was questionable, at that time, to say the least.

Cull periodically made business trips to secure goods for his store and sometimes was gone for several days. During these trips Dollie began to see Dr. Mac more and more. Cull became suspicious and set a trap. He told Dollie he had to leave on a trip and would be back the following day. He left in his buggy but, just before dark, he slipped back to the house with his pistol in hand and hid under the front porch.

Sure enough, just after dark he heard the creaking of the gate as it opened and Cull could make out the silhouette of Dr. Mac as he turned to latch the gate. Cull raised his pistol and fired. Dr. Mac scrambled through the gate and ran off down the road. Fortunately Cull had missed.

Needless to say this event was the talk of the town for many days to come. Most didn’t know what to think or even refused to believe it. Two of Spearsville’s prominent citizens being involved in such behavior was unheard of in those times. This event had a devastating effect on the families involved. It was especially hard on Boone and Edna Breazeal. Dollie was Boone’s sister and Mattie was Edna’s sister.

Mattie told her folks that she was going to stay with Dr. Mac for he had been good to her. Dr. Mac and Mattie decided to move to Dodson, Louisiana and set up practice there. Several years earlier, he had served as doctor for his father-in-law’s saw mill in the nearby village of Wyatt and was familiar with the area and the people there. It was there that Mattie’s mother came to live with them because of bad health. She died there on June 20, 1920. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Mac moved his family to Jonesboro. Dr. Mac and Mattie stayed married but slept in separate rooms for the rest of their lives. In the years that followed his move to Jonesboro, Dr. Mac became the “Dr. Dudley” of the Jonesboro area. If a patient had no money to pay for his services he simply said, “Pay me when you can.” If the patient didn’t have the money to get the prescribed medication, the good doctor furnished that too. When he died, there was hardly enough money to bury him. After his death on February 13, 1960, the clinic in Jonesboro was named for him.

Cull and Dollie decided to move to Leola, Arkansas where Cull opened and ran a very successful general merchandise store. Edwin, the 18-year-old son of the couple, returned to Spearsville, a week or so later, to retrieve his sweetheart, Gladys Estelle Futch. Her parents, George Allen and Maude Holloway Futch were unaware of anything until the couple had gone to Arkansas, where they were married. They opened their own store in Gould, Arkansas.

In January 1920, Robert “Lum” Henderson bought Cull Elliott’s property in Spearsville after the Elliotts moved to Arkansas. The description of the property reads: Residence and lot West bounded on the West by the Hillsboro and Spearsville road, on the North by J. B. Spears lot, on the East by Jinks and Henderson gin lot, on the South by T. J. Rabun lot, and one store house and lot as follows: On the South by A. B. Henderson lot, on the West by Union Church lot, on the North by G. L. Cole lot, and on the East by the Hillsboro and Spearsville road.

Gene Barron is a native of Spearsville, Union Parish, Louisiana. He has a genealogy database of 182,000 names, who are all connected to his family.

Gene has also written three historical books on Union Parish. I highly recommend both.


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