Oscar Donley, who successfully operates one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 11, Mona township, is a native of this county, his birth having occurred on the 14th day of March, 1887. He is a son of Richard and Adelaide Donley, the father, a native of Ireland, having been brought to the United States by his parents when but six months old, while the mother was born in New Jersey. She is now deceased but the father still survives, making his home in Livingston county, Illinois. They became the parents of six children, as follows: Charles, who resides in Livingston county; Edward, who also makes his home in that county; George, of Ford county; Elsie, the wife of George Watson, of Bureau county; Jesse, living in Ford county; and one who has passed away.
Oscar Donley acquired his education in the common schools and when he had attained the age of seventeen years began working for Mr. Dancer, of this county. He remained in that gentleman's employ for ten years and was then engaged in the butchering business at Kempton for a year. On the expiration of that period be began farming on section 11, Mona township, where he now operates one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land, which responds in bountiful harvests to the care and labor he bestows upon it. Although still a young man he has already become recognized as one of the representative and enterprising agriculturalists of his community, and is meeting with a well merited measure of success in his farming interests.
In 1901 Mr. Donley was united in marriage to Miss Cora Essington, a native of Ford county, and a daughter of George and Celia Essington, also of this county. In his political views Mr. Donley is a stalwart republican and is at present serving as assessor of Mona township. He was also justice of the peace for three years, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial and in accordance with the law. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 406, and the Woodmen Camp, both of Kempton, and both he and his wife support the Methodist Episcopal church. He has always lived in this county and that his life has ever been an upright and honorable one is indicated by the fact that his stanchest friends are numbered among those who have known him from his boyhood.

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 860-861.

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