Edward Louis Dondanville the oldest of nine children of Wallace Dondanville and Catherine Sherman was born in Serena Township, La Salle County, Illinois on December 23, 1870. He received his early education in La Salle County schools. He entered Niagara University, Niagara Falls, New York in 1887 at the age of 17 receiving his education in Arts and philosophy. He graduated in 1892 as Valedictorian of his class and winner of the coveted Shakespearian Medal for his oratorical ability.
Edward entered the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels at Niagara University. He was editor of the college paper and the winner of several additional medals. He was ordained to the priesthood June 4, 1898 at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Buffalo by Archbishop James E. Quigley. He celebrated his first mass on June 12, 1898 at his family's church, St. John The Baptist, Somonauk, Illinois.
He was assigned as an assistant Pastor in the Chicago Archdiocese. In 1910 while at Corpus Christi parish he undertook an extended tour of Europe. Departing from New York on April 9th aboard the Prinzes Irene, he visited France, Germany, Italy, England and Ireland before returning to the United States in early July. The highlight of his trip was the visit to the birth place of his father in St. Maurice, (St. Moritz under German rule) Alsace where he was able to document church records on family births, marriages and deaths that were destroyed a few years later during World War I.
On June 3, 1921 Father Dondanville was named fourth pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Chicago. He became pastor of St. Thomas Acquinas Church on Washington Blvd. on January 1, 1925. As the second pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas it was Father Ed's task to complete the beautiful church which was hardly under roof when his predecessor died. Under his leadership the interior of the Tudor Gothic edifice was completed. The alter and communion railing were his design. The stained glass windows designed by his sister Isabel added to the devotional atmosphere of the church's interior.
Father Dondanville cherished a love of the outdoors. Trees and flowers, woods and birds held a close bond. He often returned to the farm where he was born to visit his family and to fish and hunt. He was one of a group of priests who acquired property on Squirrel Lake, west of Menocqua, Wisconsin. There they built a hide away.
Father Dondanville celebrated his silver jubilee as a priest on June 4, 1923. Upon that occasion his alma mater, Niagara University, bestowed upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Father Dondanville died on April 26, 1938 at the age of 68. Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago led the tribute of clergy and laity at the solemn requiem mass celebrated at St. Thomas Acquinas. He was buried near his parents in St. John The Baptist Cemetery in Somonauk, Illinois.