J. F. Donahue, who owns and operates two hundred and forty acres of rich farming land on section 31, Mona township, was born in Preble county, Ohio, on the 29th of August, 1854, his parents being Peter and Elizabeth (Laughlin) Donahue, both natives of Ireland. They emigrated to the United States in 1850, taking up their abode in Ohio, where the father worked by the month for four years at a salary of seven dollars per month. He then operated a rented farm for three years and in 1858 removed to La Salle county, Illinois, also renting a farm there for several years. On the expiration of that period he purchased a tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres in La Salle county, whereon he made his home until the time of his demise. He was one of the early settlers of this state and largely aided in the work of pioneer development and upbuilding. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Donahue were seven children, namely: J. F., of this review; James, who lives in Oklahoma; Thomas, who also resides in that state; and four who have passed away.
J. F. Donahue acquired his education in the common schools and remained under the parental roof until he had reached maturity, when he rented a farm of one hundred and sixty acres located on section 31, Mona township, Ford county. At the end of four years he purchased the place and has continuously resided thereon to the present time, bringing the fields under a high state of cultivation by reason of the practical, progressive methods which he follows in the conduct of his farming interests. He has also added to his original purchase until his property now comprises two hundred and forty acres and is widely recognized as one of the substantial and enterprising agriculturists of Ford county.
In 1887 Mr. Donahue was joined in wedlock to Miss Maggie Gardner, a native of La Salle county, whose parents were born in Ireland, emigrating to America at an early day. The father is deceased but the mother still survives him, now making her home with Mr. and Mrs. Donahue. The latter is one of a family of seven children, is a graduate of the Paxton high school and was engaged in teaching for ten years. By her marriage she has become the mother of seven children: William J., who is a student in the State University; John F., deceased; Elizabeth, who is now attending the Cullom high school; Elmer J., who is also pursuing his studies in the Cullom high school; and Margaret C., Lester P. and Marie H., at home.
In his political views Mr. Donahue is a stanch democrat and is quite prominent in local political circles, having served for several years as drainage ditch commissioner, while for twenty years he has acted as school director. Fraternally he is connected with Woodmen lodge, No. 1886, at Cullom, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Catholic church, of which his wife is also a communicant. Almost a third of a century has passed since our subject came to Ford county. This state was then largely a wild district, its lands unclaimed, its resources undeveloped. In the years which have since passed, Mr. Donahue has not only witnessed a most wonderful transformation but has also aided in the labors which have transformed the wild tract into a splendid commonwealth. Both he and his wife are widely and favorably known throughout the entire community, having gained many friends during the long period of their residence here.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 837-839.

Templates in Time