The vigorous and important City of .
Muskogee claims as one of its representative lawyers and progressive
young men of marked civic loyalty the popular citizen whose name
initiates this paragraph and who had here maintained his residence
since 1904, so that he became a member of the Oklahoma bar about
three years prior to the admission of the state into the Union. In
the general practice of his profession he has built up a substantial
law business and his status as one of the able lawyers and highly
esteemed citizens of Muskogee County well entitled him to specific
recognition in this history of the state of his adoption,–a state
in which he has found ample opportunity for earnest and fruitful
service and achievement.
Mr. Donovan was born
in the City of St. Louis. Missouri, on the 3d of August, 1879, and is
a son of Joseph T. and Mary Lucy (Mahoney) Donovan, who became the
parents of five sons and three daughters. Joseph T. Donovan has been
a resident of the City of St. Louis from the time of his birth, and
for a long period has there been successfully established in the
real-estate business. His father, Daniel H. Donovan, was a native of
Ireland and was a boy at the time of the family emigration from the
fair old Emerald Isle to the United States, the family home having
early been established in St. Louis, where Daniel H. was reared to
manhood and where his father, Daniel Donovan, passed the remainder of
his life. Daniel H. Donovan became collector of internal revenue for
the port of St. Louis under the administration of President Buchanan
and was otherwise prominent and influential as a citizen and man of
affairs. Joseph T. Donovan was a gallant soldier of the Confederate
service in the Civil war and though he is now of venerable age he is
still actively identified with business interests in his native city,
where he commands unequivocal popular esteem. As a young man he
wedded Miss Mary Lucy Mahoney, who is now deceased. She was born in
the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and was a daughter of Dennis A. Mahoney,
who was for many years owner, editor and publisher of the Dubuque
Telegraph and a leader in the activities of the democratic party in
the Hawkeye State. He served as county sheriff and at the time of the
Civil war he was his party’s candidate for member of Congress, his
successful republican opponent having been the late Hon. William B.
Allison, who long represented Iowa in the United States Senate. Mr.
Mahoney was a native of Ireland and was a man of specially alert
mentality and fine intellectual powers.
Mr. Donovan acquired
his early education in the preparatory school known as Smith Academy,
affiliated with Washington University at St. Louis. After completing
a two years’ academic course in Cornell University, at Ithaca, New
York, Mr. Donovan returned to his native city and entered the St.
Louis Law School, the law department of Washington University. In
this excellent institution he was graduated as a member of the class
of 1901 and from the same he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws.
He was forthwith admitted to the Missouri bar, and for the ensuing
three years he was engaged in the work of his profession in St.
Louis. He then, in 1904, came to Muskogee, Oklahoma Territory, in the
capacity of law clerk for the Dawes Commission in its association
with the affairs and interests of the Indians of the Five Civilized
Tribes, as they are familiarly
designated. Of this position Mr. Donovan continued the efficient
incumbent two years and he then engaged in the general practice of
law at Muskogee, where he has built up and controls a law business of
broad scope and important order and where he has proved himself a
resourceful trial lawyer as well as a well fortified counselor. As
attorney for the Oklahoma State School Land Department, Mr. Donovan
passed judgment on titles to lands offered as security for loans from
the school funds of the state during the first two years of the
administration of Governor Haskell. While his practice has been of
general order it has been principally in the department of civil
practice, with special attention given to real-estate law and as
representative of important oil and gas corporations operating in the
Oklahoma fields. He holds membership in the Oklahoma State Bar
Association and the Muskogee County Bar Association, is a stalwart
and effective advocate of the principles of the democratic party, is
affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, and both he and his wife are communicants
of the Catholic Church.
In 1903 was
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Donovan to Miss Laura Virginia
Edwards, daughter of Major John N. Edwards, who was for many years
editor of the Kansas City Times and who was a distinguished soldier
and officer of the Confederacy in the Civil war. The major was the
author of a number of volumes touching the period of the war between
the North and the South, and one of these which received specially
wide circulation was entitled “Shelby and His Men.” Mr. and
Mrs. Donovan have no children.