Don MacLean

Commitment and service to community run deep in the family of Arlington’s first City Councilman, C. Donald MacLean, Jr.

My Arlington Monthly - Vol 1 No 5 January, 2015 Final Edition_page_14_1

 

Don’s family ties go back to the earliest days of the little community on the St. Johns River when Don’s grandmother, Ella Nora Flynn, married Anson Macy. Anson purchased the Arlington Ferry and Land Company in the mid-1920s and provided ferry service between Arlington and Fairfield until 1933. In 1914, Anson built the home still occupied today at 1321 River Bluff Road using sand on the lot to make the bricks for the home’s foundation. In 1924, Oliver Frieske’s general store, located adjacent to the Macy home, was destroyed by fire. Determined to provide protection for the community, Anson led the efforts by the Arlington Community Club to establish the Arlington Volunteer Fire Department. Anson and Ella Nora’s daughter Lucille, and her husband Charles MacLean, Sr., Don’s parents, purchased the River Bluff home in 1940 when Don was 11 years old.

Don graduated from Landon Jr./Sr. High School in 1946. After graduation, Don enrolled at the University of Florida and graduated in three years with a B.A. in Economics. He obtained his judiciary doctorate law degree in 1951, and returned to Arlington to practice law, specializing in real estate law.

In 1968, after major corruption by office holders became public knowledge, the City of Jacksonville and Duval County governments consolidated. In a hotly contested race, Don won the seat as Council District 1’s first councilman and was appointed chairman of the rezoning commission. According to Don, “While there was amazing support for consolidation, there was still continued opposition.” With Don’s leadership, working with civic advocacy groups with huge public participation, a rezoning plan was approved in 1970. “The public now had confidence government was working the way people had hoped it would – right out in the open.”

Don and Georgia Molter MacLean married in 1950. After his three year term as councilman ended, with seven children at home, Don declined to run for office again. However, he continued then and now to serve the community. Having joined the Jacksonville Beach American Red Cross Life Saving Corps in 1944 at age 15, he retired as captain in 1954, but remains active as an advisor on their board. He is a founding member of the Arlington Rotary, served as president of the Arlington Community Club and on the boards of the Boys Home, North Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America, Hurley Manor and San Jose Apartments (housing for the elderly, Diocese of St. Augustine) and the Catholic Charities pastoral council. He and Georgia are Eucharistic ministers at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Following the example of her parents, Don and Georgia’s daughter, Melanie MacLean Cross, leading a small group of civic-minded Arlington residents, founded Old Arlington, Inc. in 1993. She participated in this organization until her death in 2008

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