DONELAN, MICHAEL, foreman of the Wabash machine shops, Springfield, and a man of unfailing reliability, has been connected with the shops for forty years, having started in as an apprentice when seventeen years old, under the kindly remembered Thomas Gorman, master mechanic. After four years' apprenticeship he then worked as a journeyman for many years, finally retiring a few years ago, but in 1910 he returned to become foreman of the shops. He was born in Hartford, Conn., June 7, 1855, a son of Thomas and Bridget (Fitz) Donelan, natives of County Clare, Ireland. The father was born in 1820, but came to the United States in young manhood, landing in New York. He learned the trade of stone mason and plasterer, and followed this line of work for some years. While in New York he married. In 1856 the family came to Springfield, where the father found work at his trade, working at it until his death, in 1865. The mother survives, living in Springfield, at an advanced age. The children born to these worthy parents were: Michael; Thomas, a dental surgeon of Springfield; Elizabeth,, Mrs. Thomas Hughes; of Springfield.
Michael Donelan was only eighteen months old when brought to Springfield by his parents, so practically all his life has been spent there. His boyhood was spent in the neighborhood of Madison and Thirteenth Streets, and he attended St. Mary's School until he was twelve years old, when his father died and he left school to go to work, his widowed mother needing the help of her eldest born. He first worked as a chore boy in the family of William A. Turney, Clerk of the Supreme Court, remaining with them for six years, when he entered the shops.
On January 11, 1877, Mr. Donelan married Mary Pierik, of Springfield, daughter of the late William Pierik and his wife, Ellen (Murnane) Pierik, the latter still surviving, aged seventy-five years. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Donelan were as follows: Thomas, died in childhood; John, of Springfield, married Bertha Kahl; Mary, Margaret and William at home; Helen and Elizabeth, deceased; and James and the second Elizabeth, at home. Mr. Donelan belongs to the Church of the Immaculate Conception. In politics he is a Democrat and fraternally he belongs to the Royal Arcanum. He is a solid, reliable man, whose responsibilities have always been faithfully discharged.