Meanwhile back in the warehouse district, we've got the McDonald Bros. Co. a wholesaler of china, crockery and glassware. It was the business of Matthew McDonald "who for a considerable period was one of the owners of an extensive wholesale and retail china, crockery and glassware." He was born in Pennsylvania in 1848 to Irish immigrant parents and started his china business there before relocating to Minneapolis in 1884. It sounds like they were on Nicollet first, but moved down Fifth Street to this location near First Avenue, where they apparently expanded into retail. Matthew died in 1910, leaving the business in his brother's hands.
Members of the McDonald family apparently prospered enough to house themselves on the lovely Lake of the Isles Parkway, where Frank McDonald, a department manager, lived in 1917. Millard McDonald, one of Matthew's sons who graduated from law school and served in the aviation forces in the first world war, lived over on Blaisdell Avenue in 1910.
The building apparently had a major fire in 1895, which lead to the death of five firemen, at the time the deadliest fire in the history of the Minneapolis fire department.