A. F. Dunavan, eldest of seven children of William L. and Eliza G. (Green) Dunavan, was born Oct. 29, 1832, in Rutland Township, La Salle County, Ill., where he was reared on a farm. He went to California, being six months on the road, going with eight teams and six yoke of oxen and cows, and worked in the gold mines in a place called Volcano for three years. He then, in 1855, returned to his home in Rutland and bought a farm of 160 acres of land, where he followed agricultural pursuits till 1870, when he engaged in his present business. This business was first conducted under the firm name of George H. Pennypacker & Brunk until 1870 when Mr. Dunavan was admitted to the firm. In 1873 it was made a joint stock company, but was bought out in 1877 by A. F. Dunavan & Son, who are carrying on a successful business. They employ on an average twelve men and manufacture annually 1,500 dozen horse collars and fifty dozen fly nets, beside other articles pertaining to their business. Their business is exclusively wholesale. He was married July 4, 1860, to Emma R. Cooper, of Kalamazoo, Mich. They have three children – W. J., in business with his father; Jennie C., attending school at Ottawa, Ill.; and Herbert L., attending high school at Ottawa. Politically Mr. Dunavan is a Democrat. In his religion he is liberal. He has held the office of School Director. His father is a native of Licking County, Ohio. He left Ohio in 1829 and lived a year and a half near Peru, Ill., where he was married. His wife is also a native of Licking County. They are now living on a ranch in Texas engaged in the cattle business. His father was a Colonel in the was of 1812.1
- History of La Salle County, Illinois, 2 vols. Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1886, 2: 92.