O'Neill, James Sr. (4 May, 1810 - 28 Mar 1882)






----Source: HISTORY OF CLARK COUNTY, 1918,  pg. 162



James O'Neill, SR.

James O'Neill, Sr., founder of Neillsville, and pioneer of Clark county, was born in Lisbon, St. Lawrence County, New York, May 4, 1810, son of Andrew and Jane (Armstrong) O'Neill. With is brothers, Alexander and Henry, he came to Wisconsin 1836 and located at Prairie du Chien, coming from there to Black River Falls in 1839, and to the present site of Neillsville in 1844. Here he started a mill and established a town. the story of his life is a part of the history of the county. He was first chairman of the town of Pine Valley which preceded the organization of the county he was first superintendent of schools of Pine Valley when the township took in the whole county, he was chairman of the first county board and served as such for several years he was county judge and county treasurer. In 1849 and again in 1868, he did distinguished service in the legislature.


All in all, his life was a useful one, and his influence is one which will never be forgotten. He died March 28, 1882. Mr. O'Neill was married March 7, 1847, at Melrose, a Jackson County pioneer. This union was blessed with three children: Isabella, the first white child born in the county, is the wife of Wilson S. Covill, and lives at Tacoma, Washington. Maria, now deceased, married Frank Darling, of Washington. Thomas died March 2, 1872, at the age of 21 years and 20 days. Mrs. Jane O'Neill was a woman of kindly gracious culture, and her influence had much to do with making early Neillsville a desirable place of residence. She made her home the county center of religious, educational, social and philanthropic work, just as her husband made it the center of public affairs. After a long and useful life, she died June 9, 1873, at the age of 59 years, 7 months and 22 days. For his second wife, Mr. O'Neill married Mrs. Caroline Teller, who bore him one son, James, now of Tacoma, Wash.



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