Dudley O'Neal

Carroll County IL Biography

Dudley O'Neal - and his wife Ann (Lambert) O'Neal

Dudley O'Neal, one of the successful farmers of Mt. Carroll Township, owns and cultivates 120 acres of land on section 22. His parents were John and Mary Ann (McGee) O’Neal, natives of New York State, where the father was engaged in farming and lumbering. On deciding to remove West, he came to Illinois in the fall of 1839, and made a temporary location on section 10, in the township in which he resided until his death. He finally concluded to make his permanent location there, and lived on that farm, which comprised over 300 acres of land, until his death, which occurred in February, 1880. His wife, Mary Ann, died Aug. 20, 1876. Their family consisted of eight boys and two girls, our subject being the third son.

The birth of Dudley O’Neal occurred in Hunter, Greene Co., N. Y., March 9, 1829. He was ten years of age at the time his parents came to Carroll County, and when they settled here there were but three houses on the whole prairie. He had received some little education in the common schools of his native State before coming West, but after his arrival here there was an interval of two years in which there were no school facilities in the township. Then for a short time he attended a school held in the upper room of a farm-house. He attended school a short time in a log school-house prior to this. Until the age of twenty-one he remained on the home farm, helping his father to improve the land. For two summers subsequent to this he worked by the month for Samuel Preston, but leaving home, he entered the pineries on St. Croix River, in Wisconsin, where he engaged in lumbering for three years. Having accumulated some money in this vocation, he came back to Carroll County and purchased a part of the land which comprises his present farm. He first bought forty acres, and later entered forty adjoining, still later purchasing forty more, making his present home farm 120 acres in all.

Our subject remained here until 1862, when he joined the ranks of his country’s defenders, enlisting, on August 13 in that year, in Company I, 92d Illinois Mounted Infantry, serving with that noted command until the close of the war. His regiment was with the army operating in the Southwest, and took part in many of the most important battles fought in that region. He was at the engagement at Chickamauga, at Resaca, and went with Sherman to the sea, taking part in the Carolina campaign. During his three-years’ service he was never sick or wounded. He did his duty faithfully as a private during the entire time.

Upon his returning home, Mr. O’Neal resumed farming, and, on March 15, 1866, was united in marriage with Miss Ann Lambert, a daughter of Thomas and Rosamond (Watson) Lambert, natives of Yorkshire, England, who had emigrated to America in 1842. Their first settlement in the United States was in the State of Ohio, but he afterward removed to Pittsburg, Pa., where the father was for a time engaged in coal-mining. About 1845-46 he removed to Carroll County, this State, where both of the parents reside. They had eight children, of whom Mrs. O’Neal was the second in order of birth. She was born in Yorkshire, England, Oct. 18, 1841, and was therefore but an infant when she came to this country. Her girlhood days were passed in Carroll County, and her early education was received in the common schools. Her later education was in the Mt. Carroll Female Seminary, and also in Union High School at that place. For five years before her marriage she taught school. Mr. and Mrs. O’Neal are the parents of three children: Ella M was born May 5, 1867; Myra, Nov. 21, 1871, and Amy, Jan. 2, 1881.

Since his settlement in Mt. Carroll Township, Mr. O’Neal has been regarded as one of its most valued citizens. He has taken a warm interest in its public affairs, and has done everything in his power to foster its material interest. He has always avoided holding public office, but has been a consistent Republican since the organization of that party, his first vote having been cast for John C. Fremont. He is a charter member of Nase Post G. A. R., in Mt. Carroll, and both he and his wife are valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in that place. He is a strictly temperate man, using neither intoxicating liquor or tobacco, and justly is held in the highest esteem by everyone with whom he comes in contact.

Transcribed and contributed by Carol Parrish. Portraits & Biographical Pg. 805
Photos contributed by Alice Horner

Back home