Jesse Franklin Donnell


Jesse was born 10 Sep 1868, died 14 Aug 1947

Son of Eliel Foster Donnell and Laura Catharine England

Married Bonita Hayden Gulick 30 Dec 1912 in Paris, TX

Buried Gamel Cemetery, Festus, Jefferson County, MO


State Board of Health Certificates

Jefferson College 786 II D R

Jesse F. Donnell, Jefferson County, 1890 (date of license or diploma)


State Board of Health Certificates

Jefferson College 787 II D R

Jesse Franklin Donnell 1891 Beaumont Hospital Medical College, St. Louis


1900 Census, Festus, Jefferson Co., Missouri

Dr. Jesse F. Donnell, Physician, Sep 1869, Age 30, Single (living in the household of his brother, Wm., and his wife Kate)

Russell Funk abt 1870 Missouri Boarder


Jefferson Democrat, January 9, 1913

Dr. Jess DONNELL hied himself to Paris, TX last week and took into himself a better half.  The lucky person was a Miss GULLIE.  They will tour the South before returning to Festus.  May their pathway be strewn with flowers is the wish of the Doctor's many friends here.


Advertisement Jefferson Democrat July 15, 1893
Jesse F. DONNELL, M.D. - Physician and Surgeon, Hematite, MO


Doctor’s Permits to Prescribe Ethyl Alcohol and Wine 1922-33

Jefferson College 790 II D-R

Jesse F. Donnell, Crystal City


PPG Death Records

J.F. Donnell (as signing physician)


Centennial history of Missouri: (the center state) one hundred ..., Volume 4
By Walter Barlow Stevens

JESSE FRANKLIN DONNELL, M. D. - A prominent physician of Crystal City is Dr. Jesse Franklin Dounell who has been practicing there since 1893. He has built up an extensive and lucrative general practice and is readily acknowledged one of the foremost members of his profession in Jefferson county.

Dr. Jesse F. Donnell was born at Hematite, September 10, 1868, a son of Eli Foster Donnell who is now residing in Festus. James Donnell, the grandfather of our subject, was born in North Carolina in 1786 and when Just a boy removed with his parents to Tennessee. While still a young man in company with his two brothers, Eli and Thomas, he went on horseback to what is now Washington county, arriving there in 1800. Thomas became a Presbyterian minister and established a Presbyterian church at Caledonia, being the first of that denomination west of the Mississippi. He also engaged in farming. The other two brothers, James and Eli, moved to Jefferson county, James settling on the Joachim in Valle township, afterward removing to Plattln township, near Rush Tower, where he resided until his death, March 5, 1845. James Donnell was one of the foremost farmers and influential citizens of Jefferson county and his death came as a severe blow to his community. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk war, his father of the War of 1812, and his grandfather of the Revolutionary war.

The paternal grandmother of our subject was born in one of the eastern states and in 1792 removed with her parents to Indiana and subsequently to Jefferson county. Her death occurred in 1839. At an early day Eli F. Donnell was thrown upon his own resources by the death of his parents but managed to obtain all of the education possible at that time. He engaged in such work as he could find and for some time hauled lead from the Washington Company mines to the Mississippi with three yoke of oxen. When twenty years of age he crossed the plains to California and was six months making the trip. For three and one-half years he remained in that state and then returned to Jefferson county by way of Central America and New York. He was extremely fond of travel and soon after his return home made a trip through Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and the territories.

On the 9th of April, 1856, Eli F. Donnell was united in marriage to Miss Laura England, the daughter of James and Margaret England of Plattin township. She died on the llth of December, 1884, leaving seven children of whom Dr. Jesse F. Donnell is the sixth in order of birth. Eli F. Donnell resided in Plattin township until 1868, where with a brother-in-law he engaged in the wood and merchandise business in addition to farming for a period of two years. He then retired to his farm where he engaged extensively in stock dealing and raising. He is now making his home in Festus.

The education of Dr. Jesse F. Donnell was received in the public schools of Jefferson county, until he was nineteen. Then he worked on his father's (arm as he did also while in school. In 1889 he went to St. Louis and entered the Beaumont Hospital Medical College from which institution he was gradutaed in 1891 with the degree of M. D. He practiced at Hematite for eighteen months and took post-graduate work in Washington University Medical School in 1892, graduating in April, 1893. In the fall of that year he located in Festus where he commenced his practice and at the same time entered into the drug business with John R. Funk as Donnell & Funk. His interest in this business he soon afterward sold out to Mr. Funk and about 1910 removed to Crystal City where he still resides. His practice has always been of a general nature and he is particularly interested in obstetrics. Dr. Donnell has attended the birth of over some two thousand children. In addition to his professional duties Dr. Donnell is president of the Donnell Milk Company of St. Louis which is a modern and sanitary milk plant conducted on a large scale. He owns the controlling interest in the Festus Drug Company, is president of the Festus Telephone Company and in the financial circles of his former home is also prominent, being vice president and director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank. He operates a plantation of twelve hundred and fifty-nine acres in Louisiana where he raises cotton as well as stock and diversified farm products.

On the 30th of December, 1912, Dr. Donnell was united in marriage to Miss Bonlta H. Gulick, a daughter of William H. and Dosha (Page) Gulick, residents of Paris. Texas. Mrs. Gulick was born near Kansas City. The Pages are of English descent and can trace their family history back for more than six hundred years. They have resided in Missouri for many years. Two children have been born to the union of Dr. and Mrs. Donnell: Catherine Page and Laura Anne.

Since age conferred upon Dr. Donnell the right of franchise he has been a stanch supporter of the democratic party and the principles for which it stands. He has served as committeeman on various committees and has been tendered many nominations, which he always refused. His religious faith is (liar of the Methodist church, while his wife is a consistent member of the Church of Christ. Fraternally Dr. Donnell is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias having membership in Jefferson Lodge, No. 151, of Festus. His father is a prominent Mason and is a charter member of Shekinah Lodge, No. 256, of Festus. As an associate of those organizations calculated to bring about the progress and unification of the medical profession Dr. Donnell is a member of the Jefferson County Medical Society, which organization he is serving as president; of the American Medical Association; and the Missouri State Medical Association, and he has lectured on general medicine in one of the medical colleges of St. Louis. He is a great lover of fine horses and owns some trotters and pacers at this time. Being much interested in literature he is a great reader and acquires most of Us recreation in this manner. In addition to his general practice Dr. Donnell is associate surgeon for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, local surgeon for the Frisco Railroad and the Mississippi River Railroad. As a loyal American citizen he was very active during the World war and gave of his time to service on county and local boards.


Jefferson County Press Feb. 9, 1937 - J. R. Funk writes........

"The first telephone line from Festus to Crystal City was private and extended from Dr. Donnell's office in the drug store in the east side of the Thomure building to Dr. J. W. Pickel's office at Crystal City. Service was not very dependable, but we managed to get many messages across.

Howard Litton’s book “Tanglefoot Portrait of a City”

Festus had only been incorporated as a town five years when in 1893 Dr. J. F. Donnell located his practice here.  He was a graduate of Beaumont Medical Hospital and St. Louis Medical College. In addition to his medical practice he was a partner in various drug stores and a director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank and the Festus telephone company. The first phone line from Festus to Crystal City was a private line to Dr. Donnell’s office in the drug store.


The Building Trades Journal, Volume 16, No. 6, St. Louis MO, November 15, 1895

"J.F. Donnell, Physician & Surgeon - Locating here in 1893, the doctor has built up a large practice. He is a graduate of Beaumont Medical Hospital and the St. Louis Medical College. The doctor is also a member of the firm of Donnell & Funk, druggist, who carry a complete line of drugs and toilet articles."


Tri City Independent Aug. 21, 1947
Funeral services for Dr. J.F. Donnell of Crystal City, who died at 12:10 a.m. last Thursday in St. John's Hospital, St. Louis, were conducted at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon at Grace Presbyterian Church, with pastor, Rev. W.O. Davis officiating. Burial was in Festus Methodist Cemetery. Dr. Donnell, who had been ill since last July, died at 79 years of age. During the 52 years he practiced medicine here, he held many official positions in the medical, business and agricultural fields which made his name well known. A native of Jefferson County he was born and reared near Hematite, the son of the late Eli and Mrs. Donnell. He graduated from the old Beaumont University College now St. Louis University and Washington University, where he lectured for a year after graduation on general medicine. He began the active practice of medicine at Hematite but moved shortly thereafter to this locality. He was a physician for 35 years of the Frisco Railroad and the old Mississippi River & Bonne Terre Railroad. He was Crystal City health officer, Jefferson County health officer, president of the State Medical Society. Dr. Donnell also was known as a distinguished farmer and dairy man. He had purchased the farm home of his late father and was active in its operation. Owning what has been said to be one of the best dairy herds in the County, Dr. Donnell freely gave his intelligence and evergy in championing the rights of dairy farmers, as he led the organization of the Co-operative Milk Producers Assc. of Missouri and served as President until health forced him to retire from office. One of the organizers of the Farmers & Mercantile Bank of Festus at nearly 40 years of age, her served it as a member of the board of directors, and an official until the bank was sold to the Citizens Bank in 1928. Dr. Donnell who owned property in Jefferson County, also possessed a considerable amount in the vicinity of Monroe, La. He was one of the owners of Crystal City Drug Co., Crystal City. In addition to his wife, Dr. Donnell is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Katherine Jones of DeSoto, and Mrs. Anne Baron of University City. One sister, Miss Alta Donnell also survives. Vinyard Funeral Directors were in charge of arrangements.