Return to Home Page
Return to Biography Index
O'Donnell, Thomas - one of the best examples of self made men of Jersey County affords, is residing just outside the city of Grafton. He was born in Ireland, in April 1855, and was brought by his mother to the United States when he was but a few years old. The family located first at Camden, Ark., and then spent four years at Texarcana, Ark. Still later Thomas O'Donnell went to Chicago, Ill., where he entered the dry goods business and conducted an establisment of his own, speciallizing on Irish linens. Subsequently, he went on the road, and traveled through Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois until 1883, when he bought 140 acres of land just outside of Grafton, and conducted it until 1917, when he sold, but still occupies the residence upon the property. While the family was residing in the South, during the Civil War, Mr. O'Donnell's father served three years in the Confederate Army.
On July 20, 1880, Mr. O'Donell was married to Margaret Quinn, who was born in Illinois, November 18, 1861. Her father was a farmer and she has one brother, Anthony Quinn, who lives at Jerseyville, Ill.; and two sisters, namely; Mrs. Archibald Ely, who lives at Jerseyville; and Mrs. Martin Timmons, who lives at Kansas City, M. The Catholic Church holds Mr. O'Donnell's membership. Politically he is a Democrat. A man of industry and thrift he has earned all he possesses through his own unaided exertions, and at the same time firmly established himself in the respect of his associates and neighbors, by whom he is very highly regarded.
Source: History of Jersey County Illinois, 1919
Edited by Oscar Hamilton
President Jersey County Historical Society, 1919
(Actual Book Pages 497 - 664)(PDF Pages 632 - 799)