The first white child born in Clark county was Isabella O'Neill, daughter of James O'Neill, the founder, and his first wife, Jane Douglas. Their marriage took place in 1847, and the birth of Isabella took place March 6, 1849. Isabella married Wilson S. Covill, listed in the early records of Neillsville as a lumberman. The Covills made their home in Tacoma, Washington. They had four children, as follows: James, who died in Neillsville as a child; Herbert, who died in Alaska in the gold rush of 1897; Ralph, who died in Tacoma about a decade ago; Fanny, who died in Kirkland, Washington, five or six years ago. Mrs. Covill, Isabella, has been de ad about 20 years. The picture shown here, the best obtainable, is an enlargement from a small snapshot, furnished by Miss Geogriebel Webb, 818 Pine street, Shelton, Wash., a grandchild. The McBride history of Clark county tells of a son of James O'Neill, the founder, named John, and states that he perished in the Civil war. The writer finds no other mention of such a child.


An Historic Site


There was a second daughter, Maria, who married Frank Darling. The Darlings long occupied the old O'Neill home, on the site of the present Skroch residence, south of O'Neill creek. That building may be in part the same as the original structure, though old-timers think that the original home was destroyed by fire, wholly or in part. Frank Darling made and repaired shoes. He occupied the business building on the east side of Hewett which faces Seventh street, and which has since been reconstructed and enlarged, being now used Rs a tavern. The Frank Darlings had two children. The older was Harry F., born in 1877 in Neillsville. He became a railroad man, m a k i n g his home in Eau Claire. The younger was Isabella Jane, who was married in the state of Washington to William Campbell.


Thomas Died at 21


Another child of James, the Founder, and his first wife, Jane Douglas, was Thomas, who died in 1872 at the age of 21. Having lost his first wife, Jane, in 1873, James, the founder, married Mrs. Caroline Teller, a widow of Black River Falls. They had a son named John, who settled in Seattle. He became a master plumber, and upon his death his business was taken over by one of his two sons. This James saw service in the Spanish-American war with the First California Volunteers.



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