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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMichigan

James O’DONNELL

(1840-1915)

O’DONNELL, James, a Representative from Michigan; born in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Conn., March 25, 1840; moved to Michigan with his parents, who settled in Jackson in 1848; pursued preparatory studies and learned the printing trade; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in the First Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served two years; recorder of the city of Jackson 1863-1866; established the Jackson Daily Citizen in 1865; mayor of Jackson in 1876 and 1877; appointed in 1878 aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Crosswell, with the rank of colonel; elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1893); chairman, Committee on Education (Fifty-first Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress; returned to Jackson, Mich., and devoted his time to the publication of the Jackson Daily Citizen; retired in 1910; father of the beet-sugar industry of Michigan; died in Jackson, Mich., March 17, 1915; interment in Mount Evergreen Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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