Covell & Brinley Awards

A Davis Tradition Since 1944

Flora Y. McDonald - 1945 (COvell)

McDonald was the wife of Alex McDonald, the Scottish herdsman who came to Davis in 1911 to manage the University Farm’s herds.  Campus leader (1938–52) Dean Ryerson noted that Flora was the secretary at City Hall who kept him in touch with what was happening in the community (Ryerson, p. 332).  [Clearly Flora was also helpful to Mayor Covell, who was on the Selection Committee.]

On March 23, 1945, the Chamber directors voted to have President Walker appoint three people “to investigate an outstanding citizen in the community to received the Covell Trophy.”  The group was announced at the April 20 open meeting.  The July 7, 1945, Enterprise said, “The award was made to Mrs. Flora McDonald, City treasurer and in charge of the water department office in the City Hall.” 

—Chairman of the Red Cross Relief Committee

—Secretary of the Davis Chamber of Commerce

—Had office designated by the Yolo Co. Farm Adviser as the employment office for the Davis district.  In addition to assisting the farmers in the district, the office recruited help for [Spreckles Sugar and area canneries];

—Acted as Secretary-Treasurer of the local Defense Council

In Enterprise articles:  Feb 8, 1946:  Flora had just resigned as City treasurer to become the City clerk.  July 11, 1957:  she was quoted as saying she had “lived in Davis for 33 years [since 1924?] and [had] been secretary of the chamber of commerce for nine years and city clerk for six years.”  [We could not find a Davis area/Woodland obituary.  Her husband Alex retired in 1947 and died in 1953 at age 74.]  

Joann Larkey thinks she was a native of Yolo County, because in 1945 she served as Secretary of the newly-organized first Yolo Co. Historical Society, which continued until 1948.  Larkey also remembers that McDonald “was the one constant at Davis City Hall who was interested in keeping records, which in turn provided valuable resources to later historians”—including Joann herself!

Award presented by Dr. Roadhouse July 4 at the City Park