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November 22, 1912
Death called to his reward yesterday morning one of Pittstons beloved pastors, Rev. Jonathon O'Neill, for five years pastor of the First Baptist Church on Water Street. He passed away at the family home on Race Street, West Pittston at 6:30 am.
   His death was not unexpected, as for several weeks his condition has been critical. There is genuine regret in both Pittstons as Mr. O'Neill was highly esteemed by all donations for his manly worth and as leading minister of the gospel. His ailment was an internal one, and after his case was diagnosed some months ago by leading physicians little hope was held out that he would get will.
   Mr. O'Neill native home was in Canada, where he served in church pastorates before he came to Pittston.
   He filled the pulpit with marked ability and was a forceful speaker and a thorough student.
   He was a man of great heart, of warn sympathy and of deep affection, that won for him a legion of friends during his stay in the City.
   He was 56 years old and was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Patrick O'Neill. His father was a native of Ireland, while his mother was a Pennsylvania German stock. His father preceded him death some years ago, but his mother still survives him in Ontario, and is on her way to Pittston.
   He received his early education in the Canadian public schools. He desire was to enter the ministry and graduated from the McMaster University in Toronto, a Baptist institution. He was greatly devoted to his pastoral work and during his term of service in the Pittston church had not only built up the congregation numerically, but had also manifested great executive ability in the conduct of the church's material affairs.
   Many improvements were made to the church property and his latest work was the most notable, he having planned the movement that resulted in the purchase of a fine new pipe organ for the church auditorium which was installed during the past week.
   A man of genial parts, Mr. O'Neill had a wide acquaintance outside of the congregation that he served, and his unfailing friendliness made him welcome in many circles. His was the type of Christianity that believes in being a friend of man and believes in the minister of the gospel having a share in the innocent pleasures and wholesome social diversions of the day.
   Although he had been a resident of country but a few years, from the very beginning of his residence in Pittston he was free and earnest in his admiration of the United States and the democratic principles on which our government is founded. Not infrequently he was called upon at public gatherings and invariably he chose a topic that had a vital bearing on social and political affairs.
   He was a constant reader the best in history and contemporaneous literature. His capacious mind was a storehouse of facts and ready command, while his keen perceptions and notable common sense made good use of his expansive knowledge to inspire his hearers and advance the cause of righteousness and good government. He was in every respect one of this city's most active, earnest and efficient clergymen, and his untimely death, in the midst of a busy and useful career, has filled the hearts of many friends with grief, while also drawing expressions of sincere sympathy for the bereaved family.
   Mr. O'Neill was married in 1879 to Elizabeth Redford. Mrs. O'Neill survives, as do the following children: James, Alpheus, John and Gertrude all of West Pittston. The following brothers and sisters of Mr. O'Neill also survive: Dr. J.H. O'Neill, Thomas O'Neill and Tilman O'Neill all of Winnipeg, Manitoba: Mrs. John Miles of Halleybury, Ontario: Mrs. Charles Habermehl and Mrs. Milton Peppler both of Hanover, Canada. Thomas O'Neill arrived here yesterday from Winnipeg, and was with his brother during his last hours.
   The funeral services will be held in the First Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon. They will be in charge of C. Conway, pastor of the Luzerne avenue Baptist Church, who will be assisted by other local clergymen.
   Internment in the Pittston Cemetery.

Source: unknown Pennsylvania paper

Transcribed & submitted by: Bea

Contact : bea422r1 at

please see: Rev. O'Neill's photo

Note: Rev Jonathan O'Neill ... husband of Elizabeth Redford ... she was my Grandmothers sister.

Transcribed newspaper obituaries of Grey County residents, whether from the 1800s or 1900s are welcome for posting. Scans are not necessary as the emailed text is stylized on the web page as a reasonable approximation of the original obituary.

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