David McLeod, Murdock and Lottie’s son, is the one member of the McLeod clan who has lived practically his entire life in Langley since his birth in 1909. From his infancy he was ac-customed to having his relatives involved in town government. He remembers hearing his Aunt Maggie, the town mayor, claiming that she had the sharpest hearing of anyone and “could hear the grass grow’’. The boys were careful to keep out of her earshot when they were planning mischief.
David recalls being barred from some of the trials being conducted by his Uncle Hugh, an attorney and Justice of the Peace. The trials were considered unsuitable for childish ears but David would crawl under the frame building where his uncle held court and listen to many hair-raising incidents which most definitely were not meant to be overheard by children.

Hanging around Langley’s blacksmith shops watching the forge and bellows being operated and the horses being shod was a favorite pastime for young David and his friends, as was going through the woods up to DeBruyn Street to watch Mr. Barker come in with his four-horse team hitched to a sled-load of logs which Barker would dump over the bank into Saratoga Passage.

Langley’s first city hall, David recalls, was located on Second Street adjacent to where the present Peoples Bank now is. It was a wooden building with a portable cage which served as a jail holding tank for miscreants until the County Sheriff could come for them. Justice in those days was not as complicated as it is now, according to David. The sheriff knew most of the community’s residents personally and, if something went amiss the accused would tell the sheriff his side of the story. If the sheriff believed him the matter would be settled accordingly. The city hall and jail eventually burned down.

David’s father and uncles helped build the Langley Methodist church and later assisted in hand-digging its basement. Young David never missed a Sunday School there in 16 years. The excitement of being shipwrecked is another of David’s memories. With his Aunt Maggie and his sister, Ruth, David boarded the Calista on a certain memorable morning in July, 1922.

They were in holiday mood, en route to Seattle to attend the famous oratorio, “Wayfarer”. For this venture into the big city David had groomed himself carefully, expending considerable effort to get his hair slicked down in the manner of the current Rudolph Valentino “shiek” craze. The Calista was laboring through a heavy fog when suddenly without warning the huge bulk of the Japanese freighter, Hawaiian Maru, struck the Calista amidships with a great thud. Before he could comprehend what was happening David remembers his older sister, Ruth, pushing him up a rope ladder on to the deck of the Maru. He was thoroughly frightened when he looked down from the deck of the Maru to see the Calista cut in two and sinking. She was completely submerged within 15 minutes but fortunately there were no fatalities. Another boat arrived to take the rescued passengers on to Seattle where they were greeted by newspaper reporters and photographers. A reporter, preparing to take David’s picture, remarked that the boy didn’t look much like someone who had just escaped death in a shipwreck. To David’s great disgust the reporter thoroughly mussed up the 13 year-old lad’s carefully created “shiek” hair style in order to make the picture more exciting.

David started school at Saratoga. His teacher was Miss Olga Reynolds who later married Fred Frei. All eight grades were in one room and David claims he knew more about fourth and fifth grade studies than first grade because they were more interesting to listen to. When his family moved back to Langley David completed his schooling there, then attended Washington State College for one year. He borrowed $100 from the local bank to pay his college expenses.

The following summer he worked at sheep-herding in the Yakima and Ellensburg backlands for $75 per month to pay back his college loan. The sheep-herders slept on blankets on the ground and cooked over an open fire. A food staple was sheep-herder’s bread made in a frying pan. David says he can still make a “mean herder’s bread.” He was accustomed to this rugged outdoor life because when he was 14 he and his brothers and their father worked in the Ellensburg country each summer helping harvest hay, grain and apples.

When he was 21 years-old Dave and his brother, Boyd, decided to seek their fortune in the “outside” world so they invested in a Model T Ford and set out for California. The Ford lacked the stamina of its young owners and it “died” in Eugene, Oregon. They called a tow car to get it off the road. The bill came to $10 and they gave the tow-man the car in lieu of the money. The two brothers continued on as far as Catalina where Dave spent a year and a half working as a brick-layer after which he returned home and has lived in Langley ever since.

He married Clara Peterson in 1936 and they had one daughter, Mary, who is now married and lives in Oregon. Clara died in 1970, David later married Georgia McInnis. David and Georgia live in the same house on Second Street in which David has resided for the past 40 years. David served on the Langley Town Council and also was a volunteer fireman for 14 years.

Besides David the only other descendants of the original McLeod clan now living in South Whidbey are John and his son, Douglas and his family.

John married Winnifred Bell and after 40 years with Lucky Stores in Seattle, moved to their home at Bell’s Beach on South Whidbey. His son, Douglas and his wife, Mary Roll, and their three children, Molly, James and Anna, live in their home in Langley. Marjorie McLeod Carter, husband Dan Carter and son, Joshua live in Everett. She commutes to South Whidbey Elementary School to teach South Whidbey youngsters. John and Winnie’s other daughter is married to Jerry McKenzie and they live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have two sons, Trevor and Aaron.