Cleveland County, Arkansas

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Samuel Patrick O'Neill

Samuel Patrick O誰eill of Rison, Arkansas, a representative in the forty-third general assembly, entered into the duties of his office in 1921, not as a novice to the procedure of the house; once before now, for the session of 1913, the voters of Cleveland county have thrust this honor upon him.

Of his racial antecedents, in the male line at all events, there can be no mistaking; the Irish flavor of his name is a revelation of the source and origin, either early or late, of his masculine parentage; moreover, from all accounts, the qualities of the man sum up in himself those traits of the Irish race which are universally esteemed the wide world over.

He is at once a good fellow, whom to know is to like, and a man of singularly temperate speech and habits. That he is a conscientious and capable official none who is familiar with his record in the house can truly gainsay. Mr. O誰eill, for all his good mixing qualities, is a man of stanch convictions. Though not yet attained to middle age, in point of years, the poise of his judgment and breadth of view reveal a maturity of character, which few men, perhaps, develop until later in life.

He was born January 20, 1885, at Randall, Cleveland county, Arkansas; there, in Cleveland county, he has resided all his life, his home being now at Rison, the county seat. He was prepared for college at the Whiteville Academy. Thence he entered Beauvoir College and, later, attended the University of Arkansas.

A lawyer by profession, his love of the out-of-doors, and naturally active spirit, have led him to engage also in farming. He is a democrat not only from conviction but by heredity as well; as regards church affiliation, both the latter observations may quite as truly be remarked of him; he is a consistent and lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He belongs to two benevolent orders葉he Woodmen of the World and the order of Odd Fellows.

He is the son of the late James O誰eill, who died April 12, 1920. The latter, a native of Jefferson county, Arkansas, was born May 6, 1854. He was a large landholder and a planter, having inherited part or parts of his estate at and near Nobel lake from his parents, both of whom were among the very earliest pioneers of Arkansas. Joseph O誰eill, the pioneer, was born in Ireland, where he was well educated. There is a tradition in the family which relates that he left the old country for America because of differences among the O誰eill痴, which partook of the nature of a family feud.

Joseph was manifestly a very high-spirited young. In America he settled first at New Orleans; there engaged for a time in mercantile enterprises; which latter led him some time to embark upon journeys by steamboat up and down the Mississippi river. Thus it fell out that he met and married his wife, madam Lemeillier, a French woman and a widow, who, with her then late husband, m. Lemeillier, had acquired large grants of land in the Arkansas district of Louisiana, before the province was sold by the French to the United States.

Joseph O誰eill and wife, by dint of their joint possessions, became a family of very considerable wealth. He, tradition says, again was a deal of a sportsman預 breeder and racer of fine horses. He some time purchased a body of land in northwest Arkansas, and having started thence with a part of his possessions, he stopped at Little Rock, where he spent several days entering one or more of this thoroughbreds for the races in progress there at the time. Unhappily he himself was thrown by one of his horses, received injuries from which he never recovered.

James O誰eill, and perhaps other members of the family, returned the next year to the old homestead in Jefferson county, where James was married February 2, 1882, to Miss Fannie Oaks, whose home was at Randall, in Cleveland County. It was there that she was born on September 14, 1864. Of her union with Mr. O誰eill were born: J.J. O誰eill, Laborn, Alphonso, Patrick, pearl, Stella, Frankie and Jennie.

Representative O誰eill was married to Miss Dora Carter of Waldo, Columbia county, Arkansas, in August of 1910. She was born in Columbia County March 4, 1888; attended the Waldo high school, and later, Henderson-Brown College, at Arkadelphia. She and Mr. O誰eill have three children; Two boys, James and Lamar; and a daughter, Melba.

Source:Centennial History of Arkansas, Volume III. Chicago有ittle Rock, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1922

Submitted by Belinda (Brown) Winston

















 Cleveland County, Arkansas


























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