Edward O'Donnell
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

A member of the firm of WOOD & O’DONNELL, contractors and builders, the subject of this review is one of the substantial and enterprising business men of Madison. Born in Parsippany, Morris county, on the 20th of November, 1861, Mr. O’DONNELL is a son of Patrick and Mary (STENSON) O’DONNELL, natives of Ireland. His parents emigrated to America in 1855, locating in Parsippany, where the father engaged in farming. Their family numbered the following:

  • Eliza M., wife of R. F. MULLHALL;
  • Nellie T.;
  • Anna and
  • John.

The parents are both now deceased.

On the farm of his father Edward O’DONNELL was trained to habits of industry and economy, and early became familiar with the duties that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. The public schools of Whippany afforded him the educational privileges which he enjoyed, and on laying aside his textbooks he went to Newark, where he learned the carpenter's trade, applying himself with great earnestness until he had thoroughly mastered the business. In 1888 he began business on his own account in Summit, in partnership, with J. H. WOOD, under the firm name of WOOD & O’DONNELL. From the beginning their success was marked and gratifying, and during the second year they opened a shop in Madison, Mr. O’DONNELL taking charge of the same, while Mr. WOOD continued in charge of the Summit shop. Their business rapidly grew in volume and importance, and has now assumed extensive proportions. They do general contracting, and many of the fine structures in Summit and Madison are their handiwork. They built the post office in each town, also the fine residences on the Crescent, the new Britton block and many other handsome and substantial structures. Their patronage has been large and profitable, and they are accounted among the leading contractors in their section of the county.

On the 27th of September, 1889, Mr. O’DONNELL was united in marriage to Miss Mary T. O'BRIEN, a daughter of Jeremiah O'BRIEN, of Madison. They had one child,

  • Edward, born September 2, 1892,

who was deprived by death of his mother on the 30th day of September, 1892.

Mr. O’DONNELL is a member of the Catholic Benevolent Legion and the Royal Arcanum. He also belongs to the fire department of Madison. He is a progressive and public-spirited man, taking an active interest in the welfare of the community and all that pertains to its best development. He affiliates with the Democracy and has served as a member of the board of education from 1894 until 1896, and in the latter year was elected a member of the common council of Madison for a term of three years. He is very prompt and faithful in the discharge of his public duties, and is alike mindful, of the obligations which rest upon him in private life.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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