Irwin Donovan. 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.