Robert DORAN, who after many years of active, honorable and successful connection with the farming interests of Marshall county, is now living retired in the village of Henry, was born in New Brunswick, March 7, 1844. His father, James DORAN, was a native of County Down, Ireland, and on leaving the place of his nativity removed to the Isle of Man, whence he afterward emigrated to New Brunswick. He, too, followed the occupation of farming as a life work. In early manhood he wedded Rebecca MAXWELL, a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, and after living for some years in New Brunswick they came to Illinois, the father purchasing a farm in La Prairie township, Marshall county. His attention was here given to general agricultural pursuits for a time and he then retired to private life, enjoying throughout his remaining days a well earned rest. He died in 1891 at the age of ninety years, while his wife reached the very advanced age of ninety-six years. In their family were ten children, of whom eight are yet living.
Robert DORAN, whose name introduces this review, accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois when seven years of age and has spent the greater part of his life in Marshall county. He was reared upon the old homestead farm in La Prairie township and acquired his education there in the district schools. When not busy with his text-books his time was largely occupied with the work of the fields and he continued to assist his father until about twenty years of age, when in response to the country's need he enlisted at Princeton in 1864 as a member of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which command he saw active and arduous service until the close of the war. After receiving an honorable discharge he returned to his home in La Prairie township and was again engaged in work on his father's farm until twenty-five years of age, when he was married to Miss Amanda BAKER, a native of New York. They began their domestic life upon a farm in this county and until his retirement .from business cares were continuously identified with agricultural interests in this locality save for the period of three and one-half years spent in Kansas. Mr. DORAN went to that state in 1886 with his family and was engaged in general farming there. He now owns four hundred acres of land in Kansas and also has a valuable farm of a quarter section in La Prairie township. These property interests return to him a good income, enabling him to live retired and yet enjoy the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. DORAN were born six children, of whom two have passed away. Those still living are: Clarence Howard, a resident of Chillicothe, Illinois; Charles Clifford, who is engaged in the undertaking business in Henry; and Robert Clyde and Ira Claude, who are living upon the home farm in La Prairie township.
Mr. DORAN exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party, with which he has been associated since he attained his majority. His life has been an honorable and upright one, in harmony with his professions as a member of the Methodist church, and in all of his business relations he has been straightforward and honorable, while his duties as a citizen have been promptly met. He is now managing his property interests but otherwise is living retired, occupying a pleasant and attractive home in Henry, while throughout the county wherever he is known he is held in warm regard.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.