Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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OCONTO COUNTY
Wisconsin
FAMILIES and BIOGRAPHIES

 .DONOVAN.

Submitted by Kathy Barlament

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John Donovan was employed as bricklayer in Tiaoga County, Pennsylvania after the death of his first wife. He later married Susanna in Rochester, NY about 1853.

John Donovan, and second wife Susanna Smith, settled in Oconto from Bay de Noc, Michigan where he was employed by Isaac Stephenson as foreman and Susanna ran company boarding house. John came to Oconto as a Timber Cruiser in 1855.

Their daughter Emma was born Oconto in 1856, but died in 1857. Susanna, "Ma Smith", became a midwife in Oconto.

Documentation is from the obituary of John. Daughter Emma's birth and death dates were found on the Donovan Monument at Catholic Cemetery, Oconto.

The first Will was filed  in Oconto County Probate Court, 1850 (from University of Wisconsin Green Bay Archives, Oconto Probate Court Records Index.) John filed the first will, but I don't think he brought the rest of the family until later,  as it says in his obituary. According to oral tradition, they had a house built when they arrived which would tell me he was working and living in Oconto at least part time before 1855. I use that year due to the fact it is the earliest year where I can say the whole family was there. John does not show up on the 1850 census .

John was one of the earliest settlers in Oconto. He also lived to age 97.  The thought is that the Oconto Company finally kicked him out ( as a day laborer) even though he showed up at their yards until he was 95! It appears he brought the O'Neil and Pulford families with him. The Pulford's have a long military history back to England and descendant Zeke, from Oconto, fulfilled the family tradition by serving in the Civil War. He may also have brought the Driscoll's and the Hugh McLaughlin's, (a founder of Iron Mountain, MI).  Two of his eldest daughters were married to John Driscoll and Hugh McLaughlin. .



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