Born in Peru, Indiana, he came to Bloomington in the late 1870's.
For many years, he conducted a stave factory at the site which later would have the address 503 N. Rogers Street.
In 1889 Mr. Dolan was elected to the state legislature on the Democratic ticket. Later, after moving to Illinois for several years, he became an insurance salesman.
Mr. Dolan married the former Elizabeth Lanman, and they had one child, who was killed in a train accident.