ONeill, James (1847-1929)






----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin, pgs. 257-258



O'Neill, Hon. James (1847-1929)

Hon. James O'Neill of Neillsville, was born at Lisbon, St. Lawrence County, New York, September 3, 1847. His father, a farmer, was born and still resides on the same farm on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, where James first saw the light. His father is of Irish and English extraction, and his mother is of Scotch descent, but was born in this country. Mr. O'Neill received his education in the district schools entered St. Lawrence University at Canton, New York, in 1863, and remained three years. He entered Cornell University at the opening of that institution in 1868, as a sophomore, graduating in the full classic course in 1871. At intervals in his college course he taught school, in all three years, commencing at fifteen years of age, at $15 per month, and closing as principal of the high school at Ogdensburg, New York, at $1,200. He studied law in the office of Joseph McNaughton, Esq. at Ogdensburg, for one year, and graduated at the Albany Law School in 1873.

In September, 1873, he removed to Neillsville, Wisconsin, where he has ever since resided and practiced his profession. He came here on the invitation of is uncle, Hon. James O'Neill, the founder of the town and a member of the Wisconsin Legislature in 1849 and 1868. Mr. O'Neill was a member of the Legislature in 1885, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1888, appointed District Attorney of Clark County in July 1887, and elected to the same office in 1888 by the largest majority of all the received by the candidates on the ticket. He is president of the school board at Neillsville, and and has always taken a great interest in school matters. At the last meeting, in Chicago, of the Northwestern University Alumni Association of Cornell University, he was elected president for the present year. He has steadily devoted his energies to the practice of his profession, the law. Cases argued by him may be found in nearly every one of the last thirty-five volumes of the reports of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 1890, Mr. O'Neill received the nomination of the Republican party for Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin. Various causes combined to defeat the Republican candidates, and for the first time since the organization of the Republican Party the entire Democratic ticket was elected. Mr. O'Neill is an able lawyer, a public-spirited citizen, and a man of unqualified integrity, and is numbered among the most popular citizens of his county and State.
In 1876 he was united in marriage to Miss Marian Robinson, of Neillsville.



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