Edward C. O'Neill, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Edward C. O'Neill


Edward C. O'Neill, a well known and popular official of Porter County, Indiana, affords in his life and its success another evidence that industry, economy, and integrity constitute the keynote to honorable competency. He was born in Michigan City, Indiana, March 1, 1856, to the marriage, of Cornelius O'Neill and Mary A. Redman, both natives of Ontario. This worthy couple were married in Toronto, Canada, but in 1855 came to Michigan City, Indiana, where they resided for one year. From there they moved to Valparaiso in 1856, and the father followed his trade, blacksmithing, for the Pan Handle Railroad, working day and night to fulfill his contracts, of which our subject has proof, for he has in his possession an execution against the Cincinnati & Chicago Railroad calling for $138.86. During the rebellion, or in 1863, the father enlisted in Company A, Seventh Cavalry, 119th Indiana Regiment, and was commissioned as first sergeant, going out with his company to the bloody battle field never to return. He was captured and taken prisoner in February, 1865, while out on a skirmishing tour at Okalona, Mississippi. To the prison pen, Andersonville, he was taken, and there died through the rough treatment of the prison authorities. He was taken prisoner while try- to rescue a fellow soldier, who had mired in the mud. A singular coincidence was that in forty-eight hours after the death of the father, the mother Mrs. Mary A. O'Neill, too passed away. She was then living in Valparaiso. Two orphans were thus thrown out of this once happy home, our subject and his little sister, Lillian A., the former seven, and the latter five years of age. They went to live with an uncle, Timothy O'Neill, their father's brother, who resides at Coburg, Ontario, and remained with him about eight years, attending school there a short time. A strong desire then possessed our subject to return to the United States, and he with his sister came to Valparaiso, arriving about October 14, 1871, four days after the great Chicago fire broke out.

On coming to Valparaiso he entered St. Paul's grammar school, of which the late Rev. Father O'Reilly, a man greatly esteemed, was the director. Later our subject entered the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute of Valparaiso, and in this institution he remained as long as his means would allow. After that he was employed as a clerk by the firm of Skinner & Harold, wholesale and retail grocers, and remained with the same for fifteen years, acquiring a thorough insight into the business. He then received an appointment under President Cleveland on the railway mail service between Chicago and Cleveland, but this position he soon resigned. He had to assist in handling about fifty tons of mail between the two cities referred to. In 1886 he made the race for county auditor against John W. Elam, and, though defeated, he was accorded a wonderful vote. After giving up his position as mail clerk, he was employed by Specht & Finney, dry goods dealers, and remained with them two years, during which time he was nominated by the Democratic party for county clerk, being elected to that position in 1890. In 1891 he was appointed receiver of Harold & Co., to close up the business. Mr. O'Neill is a young man of more than ordinary ability, and what he has accumulated in the way of this world's goods is the result of his own energy and perseverance. He is well respected and esteemed in the county, and is a most capable and efficient public servant. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters of America, in Indiana, a charter member. He is a member of several fraternal and other insurance companies. In April 25, 1888, he was married to Miss Harriet M. Spooner, of Wooster County, Massachusetts, and three children have been given them, Mary L., Robert S., and Cornelius E.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 180-181

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul