Cover: Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties
1891 Portrait and Biographical Record:
Jeremiah D. Donovan


JEREMIAH D. DONOVAN, M. D. After years spent in attendance upon invalids whose physical weakness is as diversified in nature as their degrees of mental capacity, and whose ills are the result of ignorance, carelessness or heredity, all of which are equally inexcusable in the light of a higher understanding, it must be refreshing to turn from the imperfections of human nature to the unstunted and perfect growth of nature, pure and simple. This relief does our subject experience after there has been a strain upon his sympathies as well as his professional skill, and he feels grateful as he turns from the village streets into his own sweet and modest abode, surrounded by a pleasant velvety green lawn and flowers whose brightness of color and varied perfection of form are an inspiration to his higher nature.

Our subject is a Kentuckian by parentage and birth and inherits the Southern warmth of nature, and a certain loyalty that is found among Kentuckians more than among people of other States. His father, James Donovan, was born in Mercer County, Ky., as was his mother, Elizabeth Carey. The aged couple are still spared and reside in their native State and county, where the father has been engaged in farming all his life. Our subject is one of two children born to his parents. His advent into the world was made in Mercer County, Ky., December 7, 1836. He was reared to manhood on his father's place, enjoying such educational and social advantages as that favored portion of Kentucky offered. For five years after reaching his majority he was engaged in teaching in his native county, although in 1860 he began the study of medicine, and in 1868 he graduated at the University at Louisville, Ky.

Dr. Donovan commenced the practice of his profession at Johnsonville, Anderson County, Ky., and continued there for two years, when he determined to remove to his native village, Cornishville, in Mercer County, where he enjoyed a good and paying practice. During these years he was attaining a reputation in the healing art such as only actual experience can give. He remained in his native town from 1863 until 1881, when he removed to Antioch in Washington County, Ky., and there stayed for two years, then he made the radical change from his native State to Illinois, settling in Lovington, but at that time only remained here about eight months, removing to La Place, in Piatt County, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession for about the same length of time. He then returned to Moultrie County, locating in Lake City where he enjoyed a good practice for three years, until August, 1888, he returned to Lovington.

Personally, our subject has a strong physical and mesmeric power that is greatly in his favor in the sick room. A bright smile and a cheery good morning goes as far with his patients as a bottle of medicine with many others who have less dynamic force. He here enjoys a good practice and has been appointed to the State Board of medical examinations for pensions. He is called into consultation with the best physicians in the county and his judgment and knowledge of disease is accurate. He eschews fine spun theories and bases the majority of his deductions upon common sense reasoning.

The original of our sketch was first married in Johnsonville, Anderson County, Ky. His bride was Miss Amanda Driskell, a native of the same county with himself. That union was blessed by the advent of one child, a son, whose name is James, and who is now a successful farmer in Mercer County, Ky. Mrs. Amanda Donovan died in her native State and county.

Dr. Donovan was again married in Mercer County, Ky., to Miss Narcissus Driskell, a sister of his first wife. By this marriage they became the parents of eleven children, whose names are respectively, Elizabeth, John, Josiah, Jefferson, Hershel, Lora, Fasten, William, Samuel, Roscoe and Lloyd. Two of these children died in infancy. The others have grown up and promise to take responsible and honorable positions in society. Politically the Doctor is a Republican, and although he has not remained in any one place long enough to thoroughly identify himself with its local political life, he is of course interested in local government. Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in his relations with his patients or society at large, his manner is characterized by a courtesy and affability such as is seldom found outside of the Southern States.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 626/627

Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb