Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Dennis Donovan was born at Clanakilty, county Cork, Ireland, of an ancient and repected Irish family. He came to America when a young man and settled in Maine, establishing his home in Leeds, Jan. 14, 1855. He was a farmer and owned one of the largest farms in Lisbon, Maine.
In religion he was a faithful Catholic, and in politics a Democrat.
By his first marriage he had one daughter, Sarah, who married Michael J. Dunn, a carriage manufacturer of Springfield, Mass.
He married (second) Jan. 6, 1855, at Whitefield, Catherine McGraw, born 1832, a native of county Waterford, town of Karlmathomas, Ireland. She left the home of her nativity May 28, 1852, and came to Maine with her family, arriving at Gardiner, July 18, 1852.
Children of 2d wife:
1. John B., born March 31, 1856, mentioned below.
2. James, born Sept. 4, 1857, at Leeds, baptized at Lewiston, Maine; is now attorney-general of the state of Montana with offices at the capitol, Helena.
3. Mary F., born July 22, 1860, at Lewsiton, Maine.
4. Joseph C., born March 22, 1863, at Lisbon Falls, died Nov. 14, 1888.
(II) John B., son of Dennis Donovan, was born in Leeds, Maine, March 31, 1856. He was educated in the public schools and the Boston University Law School, graduating from the latter in 1879. He was admitted to the bar in 1879 and immediately afterward began practice in the city of Biddeford. He formed a partnership with James E. Hewey, now clerk of the United States district court of Portland. He removed to Alfred, where he had an office and enjoyed a large practice. He figured in many prominent law cases and trials and was especially successful in criminal law. He made a national reputation in the famous murder trial of Mrs. mary Barrows.
Mr. Donovan achieved distinction in public life. In 1883 he was elected a representative to the state legislature from Biddeford as a candidate of the Democratic party, served on important committees and took an active part in legislation. He was a member of the important committee on the revision of the statutes that year. He became a prominent Democratic leader in county and state politics, figuring in the various nominating conventions and party gatherings, and by his personal work and influence accomplishing much for his party. During the presidential campaign of 1892 he was chairman of the Democratic state committee and in charge of the state campaign. He was rewarded by President Cleveland with the appointment as U. S. marshal for the district of Maine. He served with credit during his term of office and was succeeded by Hutson B. Saunders. Judge Webb, upon the occasion of his retirement from this office, commended Mr. Donovan for his faithful administration of the duties of his office and mentioned the cordial relations that have always existed between the court and the retiring marshal. He introduced new forms of his own invention in the marshal's office, which were so highly appreciated by his successors that they have been adopted. At this same session of the court, on motion of U. S. Attorney Dyer, Mr. Donovan was admitted to practice in the U. S. circuit court. Upon the passage of the national bankrupcy law Mr. Donovan was appointed refereee in bankruptcy for the district of York, a position he held until his death. In performing the duties of this office he had occasion to meet many business men of the county whom otherwise he might not have known, and added largely to his circle of friends. He was uniformly fair to creditor and debtor alike in the administration of his office, and had a thorough knowledge of the law of bankruptcy and kindred matters. It is said he was the best read man on the bankruptcy law in the state of Maine.
He died suddenly at his home in Alfred, May 4, 1905, after a brief and apparently trivial illness. He was genial and attractive in personality, a clever lawyer, an able public speaker and a masterly political leader. He was, moreover, simple and sincere in his relation with other men, having few enemies and many friends, commanding the respect and esteem of everybody.
He married, Oct., 1882, Ella H. Emery, daughter of Hon. William and Harriet W. (Fall) Emery, born July 8, 1863. Mrs. Donovan has always lived in her present (1908) home, the Emery homestead. The house is of fine old colonial style, over a hundred years old, surrounded with three acres of grounds, spacious lawns, gardens and orchards, and magnificent shade trees. She was educated in the public schools of Alfred, graduating from the high school, and in Abbott and Lasell seminiaries and Wellesley College. Mrs. Donovan is a member of the Alfred Literary Club, and is active in various benevolent works. She has always been interested in the public careers of her father and husband and is herself a woman of public spirit.
1. William Emery, born Aug. 14, 1883.
2. Mary Frances, born Feb. 12, 1886.
3. Payson Tucker, born July 20, 1888, died June 3, 1893.
4. John Bernard, born July 14, 1890.
5. Alfred Dunn, born Oct. 8, 1892.
6. Harriet Catherine, born Sept. 16, 1895.
7. Josephine Elizabeth, born July 16, 1899.
8. Bertram Earl, born Dec. 3, 1902, died Jan. 3, 1904.
9. Douglas King, born July 14, 1904, died Sept. 18, 1904.