Almond M. Dondanville, the eldest of eight children of Emile Dondanville and Marie Schumacher, was born in Serena Township, LaSalle County, Illinois on January 18, 1888. That same year his parents were granted a homestead at Newhall in the Santa Clarita Valley, north of San Fernando, and the family moved to California.
Emile and Marie moved their family to San Gabriel in 1894, when Almond was six. By that time he had three younger brothers. The boys spent their next few years near the Rudel family winery where their father was employed. In the late 1890s the family moved into their own home on East Mission Drive near San Gabriel Mission.
Some time in 1908 Almond married a young lady named Catherine. No record could be found of that marriage, or Catherine's maiden name, at the San Gabriel Mission. Many early records have been transferred to San Fernando Mission, and that source was not investigated. Almond and Catherine had a daughter Frances, who was born in San Gabriel, February 9, 1909. Almond died March 11, 1912 in Watts, California. He was just 24 years of age.
The 1920 U.S. Census recorded Catherine Dondanville, then age 27, as a roomer living in Long Beach and working as a waitress. Frances was not recorded at that household. If Catherine were 27 in 1920, she would have been 16 when Frances was born and Almond would have been 21.
Records of San Gabriel Mission reveal that Frances Winebred Dondanville, daughter of Almond and Catherine, was baptized there, April 3, 1920, at age 11. Sponsors were her uncle, Louis John, and Anna M., wife of Joseph Dondanville. One could conclude the possibility that that Frances was being raised by her grandparents or by an uncle and aunt, although she could not be found in the 1920 Census. While her certificate of baptism records her middle name as Winebred, it is believed that this was a mistake in transcription and the name more likely was Winefred.
Cousins recollect that Frances visited Dondanvilles in Los Angeles in the 1950s and that she may have been living in Washington State. There was no recollection of a married name or children.