The O'Donoghue Society

For all those interested in history and genealogy and whose names are derived from the Gaelic

Snippets: October is ‘Our Ancestors and the Law’ Response One: James John Donahue, Deputy Sheriff, Griggs County, North Dakota

James John Donahue, Deputy Sheriff, Griggs County, North Dakota
By Thomas M Witte (his son-in-law)
(Born in Winona, MN on April 24, 1912, Died in Valley City, ND on January 22, 1993)
 
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James Donahue was the father of my wife, Colleen Donahue Witte. His g-grandfather and mother were Philip Donahue and Mary Hays Donahue, both from Ireland.
After WWII and a stint in the US Navy, “Jim” and wife Marjorie moved from his home state of Minnesota to Hannaford, North Dakota (Marjorie’s home). Hannaford was a small-town with a population of about 200 people in Griggs County which is in east-central North Dakota.
As the above political advertisement shows, he spent several years as a deputy sheriff of Griggs County, headquartered in Cooperstown, ND which was about 15 miles from his home. He also served as town policeman for Hannaford at various times.
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The photo left from the late 1950 shows Deputy Sheriff Donahue on the far left.
 
He was a well-liked and respected law enforcement official of his County. A man of integrity who served honorably, and who justly upheld the law, putting no difference between neighbor and stranger. He told many stories of the various problems and situations that he faced in his work in that sparsely populated area of the US. The events that troubled him the most were the accidents that he responded to where someone was either hurt or killed. Then there were the situations where a neighbor would want to be shown special favor in an incident. His daughter Colleen tells of the time when he picked up the parents of a boy she was dating for speeding. They expected leniency but did not get it, which led to some unpleasant feelings between Colleen and her boy-friend’s parents. Colleen also tells of the time he came to the aid of a woman and her child who had hit deer in the middle of the night. They were strangers travelling through that area. Their car was damaged so they could not continue and having no place to stay, Deputy Sheriff Donahue took them to his home where Marjorie (a registered nurse) cleaned them up and tended their minor injuries. They were then given a bed to sleep in for the night. Someone came for them the following day. For many years the woman stayed in touch with Jim and Marjorie by letter.
 









Deputy Sheriff Jim Donahue at his home in Hannaford, overlooking Bald Hill Creek.
 
He did not become Sheriff of Griggs County. Unhappy circumstances led him to resign as candidate for Sheriff before the election. He continued serving as Deputy.
 
James John Donahue, Deputy Sheriff, Griggs County, North Dakota
By Thomas M Witte (his son-in-law)
(Born in Winona, MN on April 24, 1912, Died in Valley City, ND on January 22, 1993)
 
A close up of a newspaperDescription automatically generated
 
James Donahue was the father of my wife, Colleen Donahue Witte. His g-grandfather and mother were Philip Donahue and Mary Hays Donahue, both from Ireland.
After WWII and a stint in the US Navy, “Jim” and wife Marjorie moved from his home state of Minnesota to Hannaford, North Dakota (Marjorie’s home). Hannaford was a small-town with a population of about 200 people in Griggs County which is in east-central North Dakota.
As the above political advertisement shows, he spent several years as a deputy sheriff of Griggs County, headquartered in Cooperstown, ND which was about 15 miles from his home. He also served as town policeman for Hannaford at various times.
A truck is parked on the side of a roadDescription automatically generated
 
The photo left from the late 1950 shows Deputy Sheriff Donahue on the far left.
 
He was a well-liked and respected law enforcement official of his County. A man of integrity who served honorably, and who justly upheld the law, putting no difference between neighbor and stranger. He told many stories of the various problems and situations that he faced in his work in that sparsely populated area of the US. The events that troubled him the most were the accidents that he responded to where someone was either hurt or killed. Then there were the situations where a neighbor would want to be shown special favor in an incident. His daughter Colleen tells of the time when he picked up the parents of a boy she was dating for speeding. They expected leniency but did not get it, which led to some unpleasant feelings between Colleen and her boy-friend’s parents. Colleen also tells of the time he came to the aid of a woman and her child who had hit deer in the middle of the night. They were strangers travelling through that area. Their car was damaged so they could not continue and having no place to stay, Deputy Sheriff Donahue took them to his home where Marjorie (a registered nurse) cleaned them up and tended their minor injuries. They were then given a bed to sleep in for the night. Someone came for them the following day. For many years the woman stayed in touch with Jim and Marjorie by letter.
 









Deputy Sheriff Jim Donahue at his home in Hannaford, overlooking Bald Hill Creek.
 
He did not become Sheriff of Griggs County. Unhappy circumstances led him to resign as candidate for Sheriff before the election. He continued serving as Deputy.
 
28.10.2019