Biography of Alexander M. Donnan
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





Alexander M. Donnan, the faithful custodian of public funds in Buchanan county, having been called to the office of county treasurer in 1906, was born in Independence, Iowa, on the 6th of October, 1871, a son of James B. and Martha (Ross) Donnan. The father's birth occurred in West Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, December 17, 1840, while the mother was born in Lower Waterford, Vermont, and was a sister of E. Ross, formerly president of the Peoples National Bank of Independence, and a sister of Senator Ross of Vermont, who was chief justice of the Green Mountain state for many years and succeeded Senator Morrell in the office of United States senator.

When twenty one years of age James B. Donnan removed to the west and, entering the office of his brother, W. G. Doman, began reading law. He was admitted to the bar soon after the close of the war and then entered upon the active practice of his profession, in which he continued with his brother for a number of years, or until his hearing failed and forced his retirement from that field of professional activity. He then turned his attention to the abstract business, in which he continued until 1911. At different times he has held local offices, but has never been an aspirant for political preferment. His wife died in August, 1906. In their family were five children: Lillian, the wife of C. A. Rosemond, a resident of Bloomington, Illinois; Alexander M.; Abbie, at home with her father; Mary B., the wife of C. W. Fiester; and Ruth K, who died in 1909.

Alexander M. Donnan, reared in his native city, attended the public schools of Independence and afterward spent two years as a student in Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa, and three years in the University of Illinois, from which he was graduated with the class of 1895. During vacation periods he worked in a store for a few years. He was graduated from the College of Engineering of the University of Illinois and afterward turned his attention to the profession of architecture, which he followed in Independence until called to his present position, having been made county treasurer on the 1st of February, 1906. He has since been the incumbent in the office, covering a period of more than eight years, and has made a most creditable record by the prompt, capable and thoroughly reliable manner in which he has discharged his public duties.

In September, 1903, Mr. Donnan was united in marriage to Miss Helen Maude Rosemond, who was born in Taylorville, Illinois, a daughter of Captain W. E. and Caroline (Baumgartner) Rosemond, both of whom were natives of Ohio. Removing westward, they settled in Taylorville, Illinois, and in the spring of 1882 arrived in Iowa. At different times the father engaged in business as a stockman and merchant. Settling in Independence, he devoted some time to dealing in live stock, but later became connected with commercial interests, although at the present time he is living retired, both he and his wife being still residents of Independence. He served in the Civil war with the rank of captain, having enlisted in an Ohio regiment. On several occasions he was wounded, being at one time injured at the battle of Lookout Mountain. His family numbered six children, of whom Mrs. Donnan is the youngest.

In his political views Mr. Dannan has always been a stalwart republican and does everything in his power to promote the growth and insure the success of his party. He belongs to the Masonic lodge and to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and the rules which further govern his conduct and guide him in all his relations with his fellowmen are found in the Presbyterian church, of which he is a faithful member. That his life has been well spent is indicated in the fact that many of his stanchest friends are those who have known him from his boyhood to the present time.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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