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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN C. O'NEAL. The farm property of Mr. O'Neal, while in itself of great value, has a peculiar significance to him, as it comprises the old homestead of his father, which was purchased by the latter upon coming to this county during the period of its early settlement. It embraces 200 acres of choice land, which is under a thorough state of cultivation and improved with good buildings. Mr. O'Neal carried on general agriculture, but makes a specialty of graded Short-horn cattle, keeping usually in the neighborhood of 100 head. In this industry he has been remarkable successful, and takes pride in the fact that he is able to exhibit some of the finest animals of this description in Central Illinois. He also breeds horses and swine, but his chief pride is in his cattle, and it is probable that in this department of farming he takes the lead in the county.

Our subject was born in this county, Aug. 12, 1845, and grew up amid the peaceful pursuits of rural life. He remained a member of the parental household until marriage. When approaching the thirty-fifth year of his age he was married Oct. 19, 1880, at the brides' home in Clinton County, Mo., to Miss Kate Duval, of that county.

Mr. O'Neal and his bride commenced the journey of life together at the homestead where they now live and where they have since resided. Mrs. O'Neal is the daughter of William T. Duval and wife, who were natives of Kentucky and Missouri. Their family consisted of five children, four of whom are living. The eldest son, Edward, married a Chicago lady, and is the manager of the Electric Light system of Milwaukee, Wis.; Claude, a railroad man, is unmarried and makes his headquarters at St. Louis, Mo.; Maude married Fred O'Neal, a brother of our subject, who died in 1888, and she now lives in Clinton County, Mo.; she has three children - Ernest, William, and Maude.

The four children of our subject and his estimable wife were names respectively: Duval, Carlton, Fred, and Donald. The father of our subject was of Scotch ancestry, while the mother's people came from Ireland. Thomas O'Neal, the father of our subject, was born in Nelson County, Ky., in November, 1794, and lived there until reaching his majority. He served in the War of 1812 with the Kentucky Rangers under Capt. Wickliffe, and was a pensioner under the Act of March, 1873. He was first married in 1823, in his native county to Miss Langley, who died in 1837. Of their five children four are living: Oscar married a Miss Foster, and leaving his native State, was for a long time supposed to be dead, but it has since been learned that he is a resident of Arizona, the owner of a large ranch in the Territory. Melvina became the wife of James Clark , of this county, and they lived in San Francisco, Cal., where Mr. Clark operates extensively as an architect and contractor. Ruth is the wife of N. D. Graves, of this county, and the mother of three children - Thomas, William, and Charles. Bryant married Miss Mary Arrt, of this county, and is now farming in Decatur County, Iowa.

The second wife of Thomas O'Neal was Martha Ratcliff, of Fayette County, Ky., and they were married in 1840. Of this union there were born five children, only one of whom is living - John C., our subject; his mother makes her home with him. The father died in March, 1877.

Our subject, politically, votes the straight Republican ticket. He enjoys a large acquaintance throughout the county, and is classed among its representative men.

1889 Index
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