Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


F. M. DONNELL. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is a well known citizen of Greene County, Mo., whose intelligence, enterprise and energy, with many other estimable qualities have secured for him a popularity not derived from any factitious circumstances, but a permanent and spontaneous tribute to his merit. He is a native of the county in which he now resides, his birth occurring September 22, 1847, a son of John M. and Jane (McLain) Donnell, the former of whom was born in Tennessee in 1800, becoming a citizen of Greene County, Mo., in 1832. In his veins flowed sterling Scotch-Irish blood, and for some time after the family had taken shelter under the "stars and stripes" the name was known as O'Donnell. The paternal great-grandfather was one of the brave men who fought for home and liberty during the Revolution, and his son, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, showed his love of his country and his patriotism by service in the War of 1812. John M. and Jane Donnell were among the first to locate in Greene County, Mo., coming thither from Tennessee by wagon, and settling on a farm in the northern part of the county. They purchased a tract of good farming land, but Mr. Donnell continued to add to-his acreage until be became a large land holder. He gave much attention to trading in mules, shipping them South, and in this branch of business he was very successful. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., and was Master of Solomon Lodge for some time in its early history. He was well known throughout the county, and was much respected by all, having many warm friends. His wife, who was also born in Tennessee, died in 1848 after having become the mother of ten children, seven of whom are still living: Monroe, who was a farmer of Texas, and a man of family; Mary A., who died in 1868, was the wife of David Kepply of this county, and left four children; George W. is a man of family, and is a farmer in the northern part of Greene County; Wildam M. is married, and a farmer of Saline County, Mo.; Sarah C. is the wife of James Armstrong, of Polk County, Mo., and has four children; C. W, is a mechanic of Saline County, is married and has a family; he was a soldier in the Confederate Army during the civil war, and served four years with General Lee, taking part in many important battles; and F. M., the subject of this sketch. Upon the death of his first wife Mr. Donnell was married for the second time. The mother of F. M. Donnell was a noble woman and an earnest christian, and for many years of her useful and well spent life was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. She was about fifty-five years old at the time of her death, and came of an excellent and well known family of Tennessee. F. M. Donnell was reared on the farm of his father some fourteen miles north of Springfield, and his early training was received on his father's farm, and his education in the district schools. He gave his father his time and services until the opening of the Civil War, and when only sixteen years of age be entered the service, enlisting in Company E., Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, under Capt. S. W. Headley, with whom he remained for two years. Some of the engagements in which he took part were Jefferson City, Lexington, Big Blue, besides numerous sharp skirmishes. He was mustered out of the service in June, 1865, soon after which he emigrated to California, where he was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits up to 1888, when he returned to Greene County. During the time that lie was in the West he lived in Enby and San Joaquin Counties, Cal., and was at one time the foreman of 1,500 acres, the most of which he devoted to the raising of wheat. He has been a very successful business man, and since his return to Greene County, Mo., he has been a resident of Springfield, where he was soon appointed to the position of deputy sheriff, and still later became a member of the city police force. He has held the office of constable, and in 1885 he was elected to the office of sheriff of Greene 'bounty, which position he filled with ability for two years. At the expiration of his term of service he moved to his farm two and one half miles east of Springfield, where he has been very successfully tilling the soil and raising stock for about six years. His estate comprises 120 acres, and it is without doubt one of the best improved places in the county. He has been living in the city of Springfield since early in 1893, where lie is conducting a well appointed livery stable, and rents his farm. His stables are located on Oliver street, near Boonville Street, and is one of the best appointed and located, as well as stocked, in the city. He has about fourteen head of horses always ready for service, and is already doing a profitable business. Soon after the close of the war Mr. Donnell was married to Miss Mary A. Hall, of Greene County, daughter of George Hall, and to them two children were given: Charles, who was killed at Willow Springs in 1893, on the Gulf Railroad, leaving a widow, and George S., who is living in California, now a widower. Mr. Donnell lost his first wife in 1872 in California, after which be married Miss Mattie J. Williams of Kentucky, a daughter of Perry Williams, and by her is the father of five children: F. M., Jr., Cordie, Carrie, Lee and Roy. Mr. Donnell has always been a Democrat in politics, and in all ways has ever been a man of decidedly public spirit. He has a neat and comfortable residence at 615 St. Louis Street, besides a number of other dwelling houses in the city, and considerable real estate of value.

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