Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois
Alternate name: Donovan
John Donavan was a ferry operator, landowner, and early pioneer of Sangamon County, Illinois. Along with John Wright, Donavan was the proprietor of Albany, Illinois, when Abraham Lincoln surveyed the town site on June 16, 1836. Donavan and Wright laid out the town into fourteen blocks, six belonging to Wright and eight to Donavan. On June 25, 1836, Donavan began selling town lots, but the town never had any actual residents. He also operated a ferry across Salt Creek.
Survey of Albany, Illinois; An Act to Authorize John Donavan to Build a Bridge across Salt Creek; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 4 June 1836, 4:2; Lawrence B. Stringer, History of Logan County Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1911), 1:99, 213.