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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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The Donohue Brothers, whose combined estates comprise eight hundred and forty acres, are numbered among the largest and most successful stock-raisers in Union county and their labors have been an important factor in the upbuilding and improvement of this part of the state. William Donohue, the eldest of the family of seven sons and a daughter, all of whom are yet living, was born in Henry county, Iowa, on the 4th of May, 1864, a son of John D. and Ellen (Harley) Donohue, both natives of Ireland. The father emigrated to America when nineteen years of age and took up his abode in Henry county, this state, about the year 1850. He was married in that county and successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1880, when he brought his family to Jones township, Union county, being engaged in the operation of rented land for six years. On the expiration of that period William Donohue and his brothers purchased three hundred and sixty acres on section 18, Jones township, upon which farm the father, John D. Donohue, now seventy-three years of age, still resides with his children, William, Michael and Hannah, the mother having departed this life in 1893 at the age of fifty-two years.

William Donohue has added to the home place from time to time until it now comprises six hundred acres of rich and valuable land, all in one body. He also erected a fine two-story residence with all modern appointments—one of the largest and most up-to-date in the county. In addition he also built a good barn, outbuildings, cattle sheds, etc., the place lacking in none of the equipments of a model farming property of the twentieth century. The brothers are principally engaged in raising stock, with which business they have been connected for the past twenty years. They have been raising Hereford cattle for fifteen years, feeding from twelve to fifteen cars annually, and also ship four or five carloads of Poland China hogs each year. They likewise have some good draft horses and their live-stock interests, extensively and successfully conducted, have brought to them a large measure of prosperity and entitle them to representation among the prominent and successful business men of the county.

Jefferson T. and Patrick Donohue, brothers of our subject, reside on section 28, Dodge township, where they own and operate two hundred and forty acres. The Donohue Brothers are among the oldest and most extensive livestock shippers of the county and have done not a little to improve the grade of stock raised in this part of the state, at the same time gaining the success which is the reward of unremitting industry, capable management and straight forward business methods.

In his political views William Donohue is a stanch advocate of the democracy where national questions and issues are involved but at local elections he casts an independent ballot. He has never sought office as a reward for party fealty but has been a delegate to several county conventions, and is a public-spirited citizen, giving his aid and cooperation to many movements for the general good. He is a member of the Catholic church at Afton and, like his brothers, is well and favorably known throughout Union county, having gained the regard and admiration of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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