Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of  Dan Dixon

Ancestor of Bob Drennan

DAVID A. DRENNAN, M. D. - Since 1897 Dr. David A. Drennan has lived a retired life in Springfield, having put aside the active duties of the profession in which he won distinction and prestige by reason of his capability. his broad learning and his close application. His life work of Sangamon County proved of great benefit to his fellow men and now, after long years of identification with the profession, he well merits the rest which is vouchsafed to him, for he has truly earned it. He is, moreover, a highly respected citizen of Sangamon county and it is with pleasure that we present this record of his career to our readers. He is likewise a representative of one of the oldest families of Sangamon county and was born February 2, 1851, in Ball township, near Chatham, his parents being John L. and Nancy J. (Dodds) Drennan. The father was born on the 18th of February 1808, in Caldwell county, Kentucky, and by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Drennan, was brought to Illinois in 1817. In 1830 he wedded Polly A. Alexander August 11, 1829 and they became the parents of five children: Mary J., the wife of John Hazlett; Thomas H., who wedded Mary McKinnie; John, who died in infancy ; Malinda J., the wife of J. W. Darneille, and Polly A., who died in infancy. The mother of these children died June 22, 1842, and on December 13 of that year Mr. Drennan was married to Nancy J. Dodds. She was born in Caldwell county, Kentucky, January 30, 1819, and in 1824 was brought to Sangamon county by her parents and made her home in Ball township. She had two brothers and a sister: Thomas C., who is now living in Burlington Junction, Missouri; Ira J., of Indian Territory; and Mary, the wife of William Colby, of Genesco, Illinois. John L. Drennan passed away on the 22d of July, 1853, and on the 28th of November 1867 his widow was again married, becoming the wife of John B. Weber. She died at her home in Pawnee, December 28, 1896, having reached the advanced age of seventy seven years. Unto John L. and Nancy Drennan were born six sons. George L., born November 27, 1843, was married January 11, 1870, to Miss Mary E. Ridgeway, who died November 24, 1872, leaving a son Frank L., who is now engaged in the lumber business at Glenwood, Iowa. George L. Drennan was again married, the second union being with Mary A. Walker, by whom be had two children: Ralph W., who is married and is an assayer in Mexico; and Inez, the wife of Dr. Reddy, of Junction City, Kansas. George L. Drennan was a soldier of Company, B, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, during the Civil war, and (died in Pawnee, in February, 1896, while his second wife passed away in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Benjamin F. Drennan, the second son of John L. Drennan, was born February 15, 1845, and is a retired farmer. He wedded Anna E. Wheeler and they have eight children: Charles F., a farmer of Sangamon county. who married Kate Hare and has three children; Florence M.. at home; Adella, the wife of John Ingalls, of Ball township, by whom he has two children; Nellie, the wife of Charles Kincaid, of Cotton Hill township, John W., Clifford, Marie and Clinton, all at home. Gilbert C. Drennan was born November 28, 1846 and is now living a retired life in Spring field. Charles Drennan, born July 30, 1848, died March 26, 1879. David A. is the fifth of the family. Alfred L., born June 9, 1853, was married March 9, 1875, to Emma J. Christopher and is now a retired farmer living at No. 1430 South Sixth street in Springfield. They have three children: John W., who resides upon a farm in Divernon township and married Cora Colean, by whom he has one child; Eunice, wife of Frank L. Patton, and Leah, at home.

All of the members of the Drennan family of this generation were educated in the common schools, and Gilbert, Benjamin and George at tended the Lutheran College at Springfield. None ever followed professional life save David A. Dren nan. Like the other members of the family he attended the public schools in his youth and later pursued a four years' course in the university at Lincoln, Illinois. He then determined to make the practice of medicine his life work and entered Rush Medical College of Chicago, in which he was graduated in the class of 1875. Well fitted by a thorough preparation for the life work he bad chosen he then entered upon the active practice of his profession in Pawnee and it was not long before he had demonstrated his ability to successfully cope with the intricate problems which continually confront the physician. He secured a good and constantly growing patronage and his business rnade heavy demands upon his time. He became the loved family physician in many a household and he secured a very large practice in the county where be made his home. He con tinued to perform his work for the alleviation of human suffering until 1897, when he came to Springfield and retired from active practice, so that during the past seven years he has lived in the enjoyment of a well-earned rest.

On the 6th of September, 1876, Dr. Drennan was married to Miss Sarah F. White, who was born in Christian county, Illinois, February 21, 1853, a daughter of John White, who was an enterprising farmer and died in Christian county in 1892. The marriage of Dr. and Mrs. Drennan was blessed with two children, both born in Pawnee: Arthur Ray, born March 27, 1881, is a graduate of the high school and of the business college of Springfield and is an expert bookkeeper in the shops of the Wabash Railroad Company. He was married October 9, 1902, to Marian Allyn, and they have one son, Arthur A., born October 12, 1903 Edith M. was born October 7, 1886. The family home is at No. 1220 South Sixth street, where the Doctor erected a fine residence.

The representatives of the family in the older generations held Democratic views, but were opposed to slavery, and in fact that was the cause of the removal of the family from the south. Several of the sons of William Drennan, the first representative of the name in Sangamon county, were soldiers of the. Union army, and since that time the Drennans have been stanch Republicans, Dr. Drennan following in the political footsteps of his ancestors, yet taking no active part in politics as an office seeker. His time and attention were given in an undivided manner to his professional labors and during the first seventeen years which he devoted to practice he never lost a day from his profession. He and his wife are now the owners of six hundred acres of well-improved and valuable land in Christian and Sangamon counties, in addition to their modern home in Springfield. He belongs to the blue lodge of Masons at Pawnee and to the chapter at Springfield, and both he and his estimable wife hold membership in the Methodist church. Few men are more prominent or more widely known in this section of the state. He has been an important factor in professional circles and his popularity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags. He is public-spirited and thoroughly interested in whatever tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of his native state.

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