MCDONALD — A little community will hit a big milestone this weekend.
McDonald on Saturday will mark the 100th anniversary of its incorporation as a town with a celebration at McDonald First Baptist Church. The Centennial Celebration will bring together current and former residents in a program that will feature Senior U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt, a native of the town.
In addition to Britt’s keynote address, the festivities, which begin at 11 a.m., will include reflections from descendants of the town’s founding fathers. Current and past residents, their families and friends will enjoy a meal immediately after the program.
Mayor James Taylor said about 200 people are expected to attend —about 80 more than the town’s population of 120.
This year is actually the 101st anniversary of the town’s official incorporation, but Taylor said that “events” last year prevented the town from carrying out its celebration.
“We are a small community but one rich in heritage,” Taylor said. “We wanted to celebrate our first hundred years as a community and kick off the next hundred years.”
The first historical reference to what is now McDonald dates back to just after the American Revolution, but it wasn’t until March 8, 1911, that the General Assembly officially incorporated the town, according to Taylor, 50, who began serving on the town council when he was about 27.
The town has an extensive military heritage, with a McDonald resident serving in almost every major conflict since the town’s incorporation. It has had many contributions to local and state law enforcement, including a number of residents who have recently retired or are currently serving the U.S. marshal service and the state Highway Patrol, and former Robeson County Sheriff Hubert Stone.
The town also has provided a number of judges to the state and federal judiciary.
Taylor said McDonald is a “giving” community, not necessarily in terms of money, but time, resources and experiences.
“They’ve developed some great people by that,” he said. “… You don’t find that in a lot of places.”