Alfred O'Donnell

ALFRED O'DONNELL, M. D. The name of O'Donnell has been associated for many years in Ellsworth County with the profession of medicine. Dr. Alfred O'Donnell began practice at Ellsworth about ten years ago as successor to an older brother, and his worth has brought him a fair degree of fame and some of the best honors and achievements of the successful physician and surgeon.

Doctor O'Donnell has lived most of his life in Kansas but was born in County Clare, Ireland, June 6, 1876. His father, John O'Donnell, was born in the same county of Ireland in 1837, grew up and married there and followed farming and stock raising. In 1884 he came to the United States, bringing with him his wife and eleven children. After three months spent at Ellsworth, Kansas, he bought a farm in Rice County, near where the City of Geneseo now stands, and conducted the farm until 1891. Selling out, he removed to Ellsworth and was a farmer near that city until he retired in 1911, and spent the rest of his days in Ellsworth, where he died in 1913. He was a republican and an active member of the Episcopal Church. John O'Donnell married Elizabeth Hill, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1857 and is still living at Ellsworth. They reared a very unusual family, eleven children in number, and all of them attained positions denoting ability and successful accomplishment. Anna, the oldest, is a public school teacher living with her mother at Ellsworth. Emily Frances married Joseph McCrory, a farmer of De Soto, Kansas. Henry, who died at Saint Margaret's Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1907, was a very prominent physician and surgeon at Ellsworth, served with the rank of surgeon general in the Kansas National Guard under Governors Stanley and Bailey, and for two terms represented Ellsworth County in the State Legislature. Thomas G. is a hardware merchant at Ellsworth. Frederick William is practicing medicine and surgery at Junction City, Kansas. Marian is the wife of C. W. Fleming, a miner at Clancey, Montana. The seventh in this family is Doctor Alfred. John C. is a hardware merchant at Hutchinson, Kansas. Lydia Matilda, unmarried and living at home with her mother, is a professional nurse and was formerly superintendent of Saint Barnabas Hospital at Salina. Arthur E. is also a physician and surgeon formerly located at Wilson and now located at Junction City, Kansas. Ethel Mary, the youngest child, married C. W. Schwartz, vice president of the Lee Hardware Company of Salina.

Dr. Alfred O'Donnell received his first instruction in the schools of County Clare, Ireland, and afterwards attended rural schools in Rice County, Kansas. He finished the junior year of the Ellsworth High School. For three years he taught school and farmed in County. His ambition was definitely turned to the profession of medicine and surgery, in which his older brother had already gained success, and in 1900 Alfred was graduated M. D. from the University Medical College of Kansas City, Missouri. During 1900-01 he was an interne, and from 1901 to 1907 was assistant surgeon at Saint Margaret's Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1913 he took a post-graduate course in surgery in the New York Post-Graduate School. His talents and abilities have always shown conspicuously as a surgeon.

Doctor O'Donnell came to Ellsworth in 1907 to take the place of his deceased brother Henry and has enjoyed a steadily increasing general medical and surgical practice. His offices are in the Central National Bank Building. Doctor O'Donnell is a member of the Central Kansas and State Medical societies, the American Medical Association and the Missouri State Medical Association. He was formerly coroner of his county and for ten years served as county health officer.

Doctor O'Donnell owns his home on Third Street and Washington Avenue and owns another dwelling house in the suburbs of the town. He is a republican, a member and trustee and steward of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is affiliated with Ivanhoe Lodge No. 446, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Kansas City, Missouri, Ellsworth Chapter No. 54, Royal Arch Masons, Saint Aldamar Commandery No. 33, Knights Templar, of which he is now eminent commander, Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina, and Salina Consistory No. 3 of the Scottish Rite. He also belongs to Council No. 9, Royal and Select Masters.

Doctor O'Donnell married at Ellsworth in 1907 Miss Ada Byler, daughter of John J. and Theresa (Morris) Byler. Her parents live retired at Ellsworth, her father having been a farmer. Doctor and Mrs. O'Donnell have two children: Frances, born February 23, 1908; and Mary, born January 15, 1912.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Amy Vineyard, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, December 1, 1999.

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