DONER, David.– During the nineteen years of his association with McDonough County history, included between the time of his arrival in 1852 and his lamented death on February 8, 1874, David Doner was regarded as an industrious and upright man, and one whose ability and courage amirably fitted him for the life of self-sacrifice and hardship for which he was destined. Born among humble surroundings in Lancaster County, Pa., April 13, 1821, he was a son of John Doner, who was born July 10, 1773, and who during his entire active life, pursued the calling of a farmer in the State of Pennsylvania.
With but meager education to aid him in his struggle for independence, David Doner worked by the month for his brother John, who was extensively interested in the horse trade, at which the younger man became an expert. The lad made frequent trips to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to purchase horses, and, returning over the road whence he came, would train and put them in condition to bring high prices as carriage, team and road horses. He finally made sufficient headway to justify him in establishing a home of his own, and on April 10, 1852, was united in marriage to Mary Myers, who was born in Lancaster County, Pa., October 25, 1832, and with whom soon after marriage he came to Canton, Ill., where he found employment in the general store of Charles Smith. In the fall of 1855 he came to McDonough County, and in Mound Township took up 206 acres of unbroken prairie land, upon which he built a frame house, and conducted general farming and stock-raising for the remainder of his life. His wife died October 14, 1862, and both are buried in the cemetery at Bushnell. Mr. Doner changed from the Whig to the Republican party, but invariably refused local and political offices. He was a member of the German Reformed Church and spoke the German language fluently, the members of his family always holding in honored remembrance the vernacular of their first American ancestor, as well as the traditions of their forefathers who lived in what now is Alsace-Lorraine, Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Doner were the parents of the following children: Henry, mention of whom may he found elsewhere in this work; Elizabeth, born June 13, 1857, died July 16, 1860; Emma, born November 3, 1858, married John F. Kline, of Canton, Ill., and had three children–Myrtle, Mary and Clifford D.; Anna B., born November 11, 1860, still unmarried and living in Helena, Mont.; and Mary Ann, born October 14, 1862, the wife of Henry Wyman, of Canton, and who has a daughter, Edna May. Mr. Doner is recalled as a high-minded, Christian gentleman, frugal and thrifty as became one of his birth and early training, and uncompromising in his attitude towards right and wrong. His personality has passed away, but his standard of life and work is being maintained by those who bear his name, and who, like himself, are an integral and reliable part of the community in which they live.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907.
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