Walk of life:
Pioneer businessman
Biographical details:

Michael Donahue, a prominent Davenporter and one of the heavy stockholders in the railroad company. Gradually the settlement grew with two stores, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, and was a shipping point for grain and cattle. In ‘The History of Scott County, Iowa’ published in 1882 we find a contemporary biography of Michael Donahue. ‘Michael Donahue was born in Glasgow in 1817. He was the son of Peter and Mary Donahue, natives of Ireland. He came to America in 1830 and worked in foundries in various cities of the east for some time, then went south and worked on steamboats. In 1846 he enlisted in the Mexican War in Company A, First Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, and remained in the service for one year; then built a foundry for the Government at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and stayed there doing Government work and repairing steamboats until the close of the war. He then started overland with a party to California; was nearly two years making the journey; had to fight their way through, arriving at their destination in 1849. He built the first foundry and melted the first iron in that part of the country. In 1854 he came to Davenport, Iowa and bought the foundry he now owns. In 1872 or 1873 Mr Donahue and his brother Peter built the Davenport Water-Works, of which Michael is now President.’ I believe Peter Donahue, the brother referred to above, was one of the founding fathers of San Francisco, and became a very eminent man in California. You will find a biography and picture of him on page 58/9 of my book, ‘O’Donoghue People and Places’

Specific research interests