This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Hugh O'Neil

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


HUGH O’NEIL, President of Village Board, Homer, Champaign County, Ill., was born in Providence, R. I., October 12, 1849.  His parents wre Francis and isabella O’NEIL, the former a native of Rhode Island, and a tailor by trade.  Francis O’Neil moved to New York City in 1855, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their days.  His wife was born in one of the New England States, and was of Irish descent.  The paternal grandfather, Harry O’NEIL, was born in Ireland.

Hugh O’Neil, with his two younger brothers, John and Francis, were left orphans in 1859, and were placed in charge of the New York Juvenile Home, where they remained for two years, in New York City, and at Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson.  They were eventually sent to Illinois, and Hugh O’Neil came to Champaign, Ill., October 9, 1861, and was indentured to George Clark, a farmer of Homer Township.  He remained with Mr. Clark for six years, and then went to Homer, where he resided with Dr. W. A. Conkey until 1871.  He then began farming on his own account in Homer Township, and continued thus employed until 1890.  In that year he returned to Homer and opened a meat market, which he has since conducted.  He occupies a pleasant home on South Main Street, equipped with all modern improvements.

In Politics Mr. O’Neil is a Republican, and has been a member of the School Board, both in the country and the village, for many years.  He was a member of the Village Board of Trustees for ten years.  In 1901, he was elected President of the Board, and on the expiration of his term, was reelected.  In his social relations he is identified with the I. O. O. F., the M. W. A., and the Royal Arch Masons; is also a charter member of the Knights of Pythias, with which order he has been affiliated for fourteen years, having filled all the official positions, including that of Grand Chancellor.  Mr. O’Neil’s youngest brother, Francis, was a bugler in General Custer’s command, and lost his life in the massacre of June 25, 1876.  His older brother, John, is a prosperous business man residing at Plainville, Kans.

On September 7, 1871, Mr. O’Neil was married to Miss Alice YEAZEL, a daughter of James YEAZEL, a prominent farmer and an early settler of champaign County.  Eight children have been born to them, namely:  Grace, the wife of Jesse C. EWEN; Charles H.; Frank P.; Maria M., widow of H. SULLIVAN; Willis Clinton, who died at the age of eleven years; William H.; H. Ralph, and Mary.

Return to Links Page

Return to Main Page