Biography of George W. Donley
Imperial County, CA Biographies





GEORGE W. DONLEY. - Noteworthy among the representative men of Imperial County is George W. Donley, one of the earliest settlers in the Valley, and since 1901 he has been active in the development of this section. He has been identified with the real estate business since 1908. He owns about 800 acres of land and 40o acres being under cultivation and devoted to the raising of cotton, corn, alfalfa, asparagus and grapes and dairy. Mr. Donley is a native of Hannibal, Missouri, and was born March 25, 1857, a son of Noah and Sarah (Hamton) Donley. The Donley family located at Hannibal, Missouri, in 1818, where Noah Donley was engaged in farming His death occurred in 1876. George W. received his education in the schools of his native town. He was elected to office as clerk and ex officio recorder of Marion County for two years. He then was in the United States mail service for two years. In 188o he removed to Colorado and embarked in the mining and real estate business, where he remained until 1886, coming to San Diego and later to Escondido, where in 1887 he married Miss Sarah F. Weatherly, daughter of M. Weatherly. In 1901 he was one of the first to commence operations in the Imperial Valley. He induced others to locate here and was active in disposing of water stock. Mr. Donley has served as a trustee for Imperial for three years. He was instrumental in having sidewalks put in and other improvements. He saw the Valley transformed from a desert to a place of great productiveness. He came to Imperial when there were only a few tent houses, and El Centro was not on the map, and through his ability many leading ventures were put through. His real estate operations have always been along strictly legitimate lines, and his business reputation is without blemish. To Mr. and Mrs. Donley have been born: Chester A., who is serving in the United States Army and attached to the coast artillery; Irene is registry clerk in the Imperial postoflice, and George is cashier at Varney Brothers. In addition to his large ranch holdings, Mr. Donley has much valuable city property. At the time he came to Imperial the freighting was done by teams from Old Beach and only a substitute was used for the first school house.

From:
The History of Imperial County, California
Edited by: F. C. Farr
Elms and Franks, Publishers
Berkley, California 1918


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