A Collection of 19th Century O'Neall Family Letters and a Poem

These important historical family narratives have been submitted to the O'Neall Discussion and Study Group by members of the family of Hugh O'Neill/O'Neall, including James H. O'Neall and Richard O'Neall, this website is designed by Jill O'Neall.

A Letter from Judge John Belton O'Neall

BOYD---O'NEAL Letters

A 20th Century Letter

Researchers' notes accompany the letters in some cases, please feel free to copy and distribute them to all your many family members. If you have letters, stories and recollections to submit, contact the group. Scroll down to view the letters on this page. To submit material to this website please send to O'Neall Family Letters and Stories

also see O'Neall/O'Neill Family History and Genealogy

Most of this amazing family history comes from the letters which James O'Neall has shared with this group of researchers, they give the family historian a look into the lives of our not too distant ancestors.

From Jim: What I called the tale of Hugh O'Neill/O'Neall is a simple writing I am assuming penned by my Great Grandfather Thomas Benton O'Neall with whom his Father William lived. It goes like this (which is pretty repetitious of everyone else's story about Hugh): Actually I will translate the entire page:

"My Grandfathers Uncles & Father"
1st James O'Neall Born in Virginia
2nd William O'Neall Born in Virginia was my Grandfathers Father
3rd John O'Neall Born in Virginia
4th Henry O'Neall Born in Virginia
5th Hugh O'Neall Born Not certain of his being a Brother of the other 4

"My Great Great Grandfather was father of the above written Named Men his name was Hugh O'Neall he came to America in the year A D 1730 jumped over Board at Mid Night on a Brittish man of war & swam to shore at Elizabeth Town on Delaware River walked out in the state of Virginia & worked on the farm of Johnithan Cox and afterwards married his Daughter"

Another page lists the following:

"Grand Fathers Brothers & Sisters"
Abyjah O'Neall Born South Carolina Newberry District married Miss Kelly
Sarah O'Neall married Elisha Ford
Hugh O'Neall Born Newberry District South Carolina married Miss Kelly

"All lived at Newberry South Carolina Hugh O'Nealls family Abyjah, Jack Calwell Rebecca amp; Sarah Twins one son John Belton O'Neall commonly called Judge O'Neall"

William O'Neall Born Newberry district South Carolina married Mary Elmore
John O'Neall Born Newberry district South Carolina Married Hepsy Gilbert
My Grand Father Henry O'Neall Born Newberry District South Carolina Married Mary Miles of Newberry Dist.

Thomas O'Neall Born Newberry District South Carolina Married Miss Evans" "Aug 5 - 1883 Said Thomas O'Neall was a Methodist Preacher
Supposed to have Died in franklin County Indiana about the year 1842
ancestors are still Supposed to be living there one a Doctor of trained of Hugh O'Neall my Uncle"

another passage noted in this journal is:
Father William O'Neall Born Newberry South Carolina January 5th 1800 From the Bible of William C. O'Neall, born 1800, South Carolina.

From Richard O'Neall's Family Bible

Family Deaths
Lydia Caroline O'Neall died 26th day of June 1839
Age one year four months and sixteen days old being the _________ of our dear little beloved.

Thy memory as a spell Of love comes o'er my mind
As dew upon the purple bell As perfume on the wind-
As music on the sea As sunshine on the river
So hath it always been to me So shall it be forever
I hear thy voice in dreams Upon me softly call
Like echo of the moutain stream In sportive? water fall
See thy form as when Thou wert a loving thing
And blossomed in the eyes of men Like any flower of spring
Thy soul to heaven has fled From earthly shadow? free
It tis not as the dead That thou appearist to me
In slumber I behold Thy form as when on earth
Thy locks of waving gold Thy sapphire eye of myrth
I hear in solitude The prattle kind and free
Thou utters ___ in joyful mood While seated on my knee
So strong each vision seems That doth my spirit fills
Think not thy are dead But that thou liveth still"

From the collection of James O'Neall.

This letter is from Thomas Benton O'Neall my g-grandfather written from Tenn back to his father William and brother Arch in Swan Creek, Warren Co., IL. He and his mother Mary Boyd O'Neall traveled there to visit with Mary's Father and her family, he mentions an Uncle Kannard and an Uncle Monroe, these may or may not be Boyd's? Jim

Aug 23 (or 28) /66

Somerville Tenn

Dear Father & Brother we landed here last knight all right though mother was sick when we got to Memphis. grandfather is well and hearty. The Kin are generally well I have not bin around any yet. grandfather looks very old, Uncle Monroe lives here with him he seems to be a verry common man, I saw two of Uncle Kannards Boys last knight, William and (?George I think) the latter is married they live about three hundred yards from here.

I like the appearance of them verry well.

Uncle Monroe and I just bin out to the cotton field and I gave the cotton a slight inspection, we had the usual amount of bad luck on the road and river I wrote to you at Quincy again at St. Louis the day before we got to St Louis the papers reported 140 cases of Cholera and Most all of the river towns have had there share of the Scourge, Mother was very sick yesterday morning when the Boat landed at Memphis but by 12 o'clock I led her a Shore and came here She improved every Step of the way and this morning She talks well, Eats Harty.

My eyes are very weak yet though they are Improving now, I was very near blind when I got to St Louis. Write to me soon If you have not and let me know how you are getting along. Arch you will please hold all the money you get for me until I get back If one of us should get sick I Might nead it Write Soon Yours Truly

Thos B O'Neall

This letter is in very bad shape but it is one of and perhaps the only letter from William C. O'Neall's second to youngest child and youngest girl child, Rhoda O'Neall Booth to her brother Thomas Benton O'Neall. There is no year date. Ther was an obvious rift between Rhoda and her Brother, over what, who knows - they were O'Nealls ! (Jim O'Neall)

Clearfield Iowa Taylor Co. November 27

Dear Brother & Sister after a long time will indevor to wright to you wheather it will prove interesting or not. Hoping that your hearts have not grown so cold that you will not answer. This it seems to me for this long time that I wanted to talk to my only Brother. So this Sabboth morning (hole in the paper) ------------- me trying to say I ---(can't make out word the the hole in the paper) ---it is hard for me to get m -(hole in the paper) collected & wheather to wright more (hole in paper) that trouble has binn my lot but if I didn't trust to hier (I think she means higher) powers I couldent stand it.

I recon you have heard that Emma was dead She died two year ago the 28 day of next May She had the consumption and the measels The little boys had them & gave them to her (brown spot on paper can not make out word or words)--three weeks do you know any thing about lizabeths children I promised her that I would wright to her but I forgot the post ofice adress. I answered Netty Chains leter around a year ago & she has never answered it yet I like to hear from my folks if I can see them I was over to hopeville to the reunion in September I wanted to come in to see you but I didn't have any way to come I had the little boys with me, there grandad len lives there they wanted to see the little boys so bad

I didn't know that uncle was dead till I went over there the diptheria is hear the whole town is quarenteened and - (that blasted hole is on this side of the paper too) - many the children it is -(hole) - to see me you and liza -(hole)- have to wright and tell me how many children you have & where is Pheoba & Jemima is & take & send me a group picture of your self & family I hope this will find you all well there will leave us all well at presant My love to all of you.

R Booth to T B O'Neall

I think this letter may have been written by Thomas Benton O'Neall to his Brother Arch who lived in Warren Co., IL. there is no signature but the writer speaks of his children which match T.B.'s children, if this was written by T.B. it is the only letter by him, after his marriage, in my possession. At the end of this letter Thomas an early view of animal husbandry(Jim O'Neall)

Osceola Iowa Nov 15th 1874

Dear Brother your letter of Oct.25th came to hand in due time we was glad to hear of your good health hope this may find you well we are all well except Bad colds. Pap was complaining some last week appears well to day. I have very sore hands am nearly done gathering corn will take about two more days and then have to haul in the fodder corn. The mud has bin Half Spoke deep all the time getting some better now, it rains often. We will have plenty of corn to keep the old cow.

I suppose that when ever you get a chance to sell my stuff it will be the time if it suits you. I intended to write to you sooner but Pap was writing. The box and barrel of apples came through in good time and met with a hearty welcome, it was after dark some time before I got back from town, But none of the family had gone to bed, then the tug of getting that Big Box out of the wagon. Jemima & Phoebe thought they could help get it out, then we got them in the house they could not be kept out of them til their Bellys were filled. But Holy Moses that little sack Brought down the House I got one out & showed it, it created more excitement than a new Convert at a Protracted meeting, I don't remember that I told you anything about Maria F ranards letter well it was of the old stile More than she said that Emma has not got well of them spells yet.

What kind of spells they are I don't know unless they are cacy spells ( I think he means crazy spells) for No Body Ever knew of an O'Neall Having any kind of Spells only Mad Spells & a good with always bores our young chaps She said that she had bin giving medicine of different kinds Pap is writing to them today I don't expect that He will recommend any thing only O.P Brown Herbal Ointment. O yes we have Mothers Pictures taken like fathers.

Sister Rhoda & family was up to see us a short time ago we went to town & saw Lee and He did want Pap and Mother to go Home with him & they did go and He did come back with them he did then stay all night. Rhoda is the healthiest that I ever saw her Lee was quite Pleasant Rhoda kept Her Eye Brows drawn down I asked her if she didn't have the tooth ache I done my Best to Be a Little Man Bull. I have 25 cows & heifers for a bull Next year if they live & I do. If a calf was 18 months old He could do it to em if he should prove a sure getter (the letter ends there This must have been collected from Arch's belongings after his death nine months after the date of this letter.)

This was written just a month before Thomas Benton O'Nealls brother Arch died. It is written by T.B. to his Father who is in Illinois with Arch and his family. (Jim O'Neall) 1875 Osceola, Clarke Co., Ia. July 4th

Dear Father

your letter of I cant put my Hand on your letter just now. I read one from Arch last night saying that you was all tolerable well we are all well as common. today though we are having some terible rains for the last two weeks last thursday Night it rained Terible by friday Night the Same last night and Today Rained equal to any rains that However fell since I have been in this state the ground is so wet that a goose would be in danger of mirering down out in the fields.

we have 25 acres of corn that we have plowed twice and a little of it 3 times then 25 acres that is not plowed over once. However we got through a part of it once. wheat and Oats looks pretty well blown down Pretty Bad taking all together it looks some like a pore crop was in hand the weeds are all doing well as could be expected for this time of year it has stoped raining now and the Sun is shining out now if it stays dry one week we can go to plow again if it don't dry off Soon corn is marked brown for sure The good people of this county had a celebration at Osceola yesterday Reuban went Lizzie and I stayed to home though it was not well to do very much work. I sold all of the two year old Steers that I had last week. I am to Have $37.50 per head for them.

I was not surprised at the account that you gave of John E. O'Neall whenever a man makes up his mind to give over to the Devil he will find the devil ready to take charge of him and he Surely made up his mind to that long ago if the children ever make any thing they will not owe him for it but I fear that they will always inherit many of their fathers traits of caracter. Children inherit intelect and disfortune from their fathers and constitution from their Mother if that is their base the future can easily Be conjectured for them.

The kin are all well as far as I know at this time Except Lizzie Waugh Have not heard from their for several days was getting better last accounts well I can't write much today

Write Soon as you can T. B. O'Neall to William O'Neall

This letter from Arch's wife Lizzie tells of her life while Arch is sick and the trouble of her mother having the measles and a bad storm which sounds like a tornado. (Jim O'Neall)

Swan Creek ILL June the 1st 1873

Dear Father and Mother

I seat myself this pleasant Sabboth evening to write you a few lines, this leaves us tolerable well Arch has not been well for several days, not able to work any but had to work some he went to see Dr. Right yesterday he did not take but one dose of medicine untill he was better he seems considerable better today.

And truley hope when these few scribbles come to hand they may find you all well. I was glad to hear that Mother was gaining in health. Ma took the measles the Wednesday after you left she had them very bad, so they said, the Dr. give her up and they come for Arch to go for Dr. Right, he went, it was Dr. Falanes they had, she had the Whooping Cough too. So the Dr. said that is what made it go so hard with her. It hurt me very bad to think that I could not go and see her. Arch went and set up with her every night until she got better, she is so she can set up now, it did not hurt Willie much. Well Father we had an awful storm here the Thursday after you left, it did not blow any at our house hardly, the sun was almost a shining.

Arch and I went and looked where it passed, I never saw the like in my life it just blowed the timber down, it just laid them in every direction it was not over one hundred yards wide, they was not a leaf on the trees it all looked like it had been dead for a long time, some of the houses they wasent a fence to be seen they was a little babe in the storm it was carried I do not know how far when they found it they was not a stitch of close on it and they couldent hardly tell it from a chunk of mud, it did not have a hurt about it, it was about six months old. Well Pa I can not write half about it, I will send you the review, that will give you the most of it.

Pa and Ma, Delos and Nettie think you have stayed long enough they say something about you almost every day. Nettie gets a paper light her grandMa fife every little while she will come up to me and say I want gra ma and gram pa to come and see Nettie.

I droped corn the next day after you left, took the children and put them in the wagon I droped the most of Arch Corn he has got all planted but the flat, he has got some broke on that, I guess he will hire another hand ofer days, he went up to Mr. Coopers a while ago they are a hand there to hire he thought, likely he could get him a few days until he got stouter.

Pa I have got an awful nice garden, I have got lots of cabbage plants set out, and have got over one hundred little chickens and 13 little ducks and one little calf one week old to day. I got 12 little chickens out of them eggs you brought, give my love to Tom and Lizzie and tell them to wright, kiss the little children for me Pa besure and write soon for we like to hear from you often. Delos says to tell bram pa he is well.

From Lizzie O'Neall to Pa and Ma

This letter from Calvin J. Boyd, Somerville, Tenn., to T.B. Oneal (Thomas Benton O'Neall) speaks of Grandmother Boyd ? still being alive and living with what may be her brother referred to as Uncle Frank Wilson. Mary Boyd O'Nealls mother was Elizabeth Wilson who married John Boyd. Letter also speaks of Aunt Dishia's death and Aunt Demaris. Also a little humour when Calvin who is single asks Thomas to look him up a sweetheart. (Jim O'Neall)

Somerville, Tenn Mar. 16th 1879 T.B. Oneal

Dear cousin.

Your letter came to hand a few days ago, it reached us all well. This note leaves your relations all well at this time as far as I know. Cousin I was very sorry to here the death of Aunt Mary, your Mother. You may rest assured that we will never forget her. I will try by the help of God to meet her in a better land than this. You have lost the best friend you had on earth axcept your bossom wife which is preference to Father or Mother. I suppose you have heard of the death of Aunt Dishia. She died the 28th of Feb. She was sick about a week was rational all the time up to her death.

Grand Mother and Aunt Demaris is both well at this. Grand Ma is here at this time on a visit, She is quite old and very hard of hearing, Aunt Demaris health is about the same that it has been for several years. Both of them is living with Uncle Frank Wilson. Thomas I am still single and living with Ma, when I start out again I intend to visit you and family. Perhaps I can find me a wife in your country. I can't say when I will come but that will be my next move. You look me out a sweetheart by the time I come, you know about what disposition and figure I like best.

We have commenced farming some little. Some people have planted corn, I have not planted any as yet produce of any kind is cheap with us. There is but very little wheat raised in this country, Cotton has been low in price this last year, it has made money very scarce in this country ther is very little money made in this country by raising cotton.

I suppose you heard of the epademic we had last fall it came as near as Somerville nearly all that staid died there was about seventy people died in Somerville all of which family lived in that place many that was dear friends of mine, I will close by asking you to not delay an answer. Remember me to Uncle and your little family

Good by Calvin J. Boyd

This letter is from a relative of William C. O'Neall, one S.M. Front or Frost this letter relays the writers convictions on slavery and the upcoming election for President of the United States and the writers views on the candidates Douglas and Lincoln. (Jim O'Neall) Richmond Texas

Nov. 8th 1860

Wm. O'Neall Esqr.
Swan Creek P.O. Illinois

Dear Cousin

Your (?) of (?) of 14th ritt came duly to had. My Mother is old & infirm yet as well as could be expected. The other members of my family are in usual health, we have had a healthy and dry season. It was my misfortune to loose my wife the 29th of March 1859. This has proven to be the greatest misfortune of my life, we lost two daughters each 6 & 12 months old and I have lost an infant son since her death. S. B. (? either Front or Frost) his wife and son spent 2 or 3 months with me during the winter, he or they took an extensive travel over our country. He would no doubt move here if she were willing. I do not calculate that they will move here. My eldest daughter who is 16 years old, my son Harry 14 & john who is 9 went to Tennessee with him. My daughter (whose name is Ada) is at school in Franklin Tennessee. The boys at a school near my brothers. I contemplate letting them remain there two years. We have had a unusuably dry season, will make in this part of the country 35 bushel of corn & 250 lb of ginners cotton to the acre, in many portions of our state the people will not make half as much. Corn is worth $1.25 a bushel, cotton 8 to 11 cents, bacon sides 15 cts lb.

I regret that we differ so materially on the subject of slavery, it appears to have been in use since the foundation of this world in some shape or other & I think will continue to be so. The circumstances of negros being black, so all can recognize them and their being unanimously unable to gain or provide for each other, satisfies me that God in his wisdom intended them to be servants of servants or why would he make one (? looks like negro) to (?) (?) & another to (?) (?) & at all counts I can not see that you & I need give each other trouble on the subject, & if you choose to make corn, potatoes, wheat and sell them to me when you & your children can work in the sun & I choose to make razin cotton, and sell them to you with slave labor, which white labor can not possibly make to any advantage, is this any reason we should have outs. I think not. I would much prefer seeing any of the candidates become elected than Douglas - If you & your northern Brothers will turn your attention to the Northern States & Europe you will find an opportunity of imploying all your Philanthropy & energies - I presume you know many men and Families that would be better off if they had good mentors.

I have seen hundreds if not thousands - if Douglas or Lincoln is elected I am for immediate cessation of the Southern States, you will see we can get along admirably with out you, can your Northern allies get along with our starvation? - abolish slavery what will you, Ohio & Indiana do with your surplus Pork, Flour, Whiskey & how will you get a br. of sugar molasses & who will make your cotton & what will you do with the negros, as for me, I can live where a white or any other colonial man has enclined to put his foot - (?) (?) hear from you. Your cousin S.M. (? Front or Frost)

P.S. I have known a number of people who will try alterations to their own benefit. My prospects will be good if abolitionists will allow me to do so, if they do not, they will walk over my dead body Thousands of others are giving up thousands. S.M.F.

Notes: This letter is from Maria F. O'Neall, the widow of William Henry O'Neall, the son of William, son of Henry Frost and so on. William Henry died at age 27, just three years before this letter and one month was written. In a letter posted earlier written in 1874 she was then using the name Maria F. Renard so she must have remarried. Jim


Feb. the 18th 1861

Dear Father,

I again attempt to write a few lines to you, hoping by so doing to hear from you shortly as I have not received a letter from you since last June. I often wonder why you don't write oftener, for it does me a great deal of good to hear from you. I was in hopes that you and Mother would come to see us last fall, but was sadly disappointed.

I was in Bloomington in October last, I visited the grave of my dear Husband, the grave was considerably sunk down, so I had it filled up and sodded with grass, this was all that I was able to do, although the Sexton showed me some very nice Tombstones and offered them to me for sixteen dollars, yet I was Saddened to come away without purchasing them which grieved me very much, but the Time is coming when I Trust my Troubles will cease, when I hope to meet my beloved one in a better world.

Emma has been sick but is getting better, her complaint has been nothing more than a severe cold, which I think is about cured. I heard from John E's, a few weeks back, they were all well as common. There is a great deal of excitement in this part of Indiana about the Union, and I fear that the 4th of March will tell a sad tale for our glorious and once happy Union.

I hope that you will answer this soon and tell me in your next when you expect to come to Indiana, and also whether you got Emma's Profile or not. Give my love to all the family, so nothing more now but remain yours Truly,

Maria F. O'Neall

To William O'Neall

The next two letters are written on the same sheet of paper- the first is from Williams Granddaughter Emma an the second from the widowed wife of ,William Henry O'Neall, son of William. She signs her name Maria Renard. Her husband died in Indiana in 1858 so she has remarried since his death. There also is something wrong with Emma! (Jim O'Neall)

1874 White Hall, Ind, August the 28

Dear Grandfather,

We Rec'd. your kind letter and was truly glad to hear from you, but sorry that Uncle Arch has poor health. I would love to see you all so well, and I would love to have your Photograph, and grandmothers too. I had mine taken two years ago, but they are not good ones, if it is so that I can I will try to have some more taken, and if I do I will send one to Uncle Arch, and Aunt Lizzie.

Grandfather you will see that I have not improved any in writing, I don't write enough to keep in practice, never the less, I intend to try to write to you oftenner than I have been doing. Grandmother I must write some to you. I would love so much to see you all. Mother used to think that we would go to see you, but we have had to give it up and we were disappointed too. My love to you all, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

Emma D. O'Neall to Grandfather , and Grandmother O'Neall

Dear Father,

I will try to write some in this, as Emma has not filled the paper. I must first ask your pardon for not answering your letter, it was not because I did not want to hear from you, nor, because I didn't want you to hear from us, for I often think of you, and I don't think there has been a week just since I got your letter, one year last April I think, but what I thought I would write. Father I will tell you just how it is, and I don't want you to think hard, and me or Emma will try to do better about writing.

Emma still has Spasms and I don't put much of the work on her, but take all hardships on myself, and not being very stout I generally feel tired, and write few letters. Emma takes medicine every day and still the Spasms holds on to her. She has taken different kinds of medicine, and different Doctors have treated her case, and yet they are not stopped, her mind is not injured in the least yet, and her health is Tolerable good in other respects now for the last year.

She is So much, in looks, like her Father, and his sister Eliza, She is a noble looking girl, and I grieve on account of this severe Affliction, yet, God is just, and my trust is in him, and I try to bow in humble Submission knowing it is right to do so. I am sorry to hear of Arch's ill health, I hope he may get well and enjoy along and happy life with his family. I would love to see you all. My love to Mother, Thomas and his wife and family, and Rhoda and her family. Write Soon

Your's as ever

Maria F. Ranard

This is a translation of a letter from Judge John Belton O'Neall to my G-G-Grandfather William (son of Henry F. O'Neall) It deals with the care of Henry Miles O'Nealls orphaned children John, Mary and Sarah. They had been living with their Grandfather Henry Frost O'Neall until his death. Also speaks of Judge O'Neall's sisters Elizabeth and Sally and a little scandal about Elizabeth's daughter Abby and her marriage. He also talks about Newberry, SC and refers to Newberry, Ind. where the recipient of the letter lived. It is postmarked Springfield and I believe Judge O'Neall lived at Springfield SC at this time. (Jim O'Neall)

Springfield March 9th 1853 To William O'Neall

Dear Cousin /

Yours of the 6th of February came duly to hand: my engagements have prevented an earlier answer. Was the Wm C. O'Neall whose death you announced to me, John's son? (this would be William Chandler O'Neall son of John Frost O'Neall, son of Henry Frost O'Neall) I am truly sorry to hear of so much mortality among our relations! We are all generally well - indeed we have been singularly blessed with health this winter! It has been generally wet. There have been rains in rapid succession through Dec. and February: part of January and the beginning of February we had fair weather! Bur for the last three weeks, we have had heavy rains: on last Saturday (the 5th) we had a snow storm: it was about 4 inches deep. It was all gone before night, Sunday. This morning, it is raining, with thunder. The trees are beginning to show the approach of spring. The peach trees are beginning to bloom!

As to Miles' (this would be Henry Miles O'Neall son of Henry Frost O'Neall) children, my only desire is for their welfare: I wish them to go to school and to stay with you or Madison, as may be most to their inclination and their benefit. Of course I expect you all, who are their Uncles and Aunts to decide this matter in the way most to their advantage! I wish some of you would be appointed their guardians, so that you might receive whatever may be coming to them. I received a letter from Lewis Chapman suggesting the propriety of the children going to their Grandfather Edmundson - I don't approve of it.

The old man is a good man: but he is now at least -70- and I cannot believe, that he could take charge of them himself: and unless there is a great alteration in his family, I could not consent, That children, as near to me, as they are should be raised by those who then would have them in charge! I think your father's estate ought to refund (if able) at least $100 of the sum I last sent him. I never entertained a doubt he was drawing more than he ought; But I suppose it was necessary for the comfort of the children. I didn't prepare for the future to allow any such sum! I think you are right about what would be best for John, and Mary! I would suggest to you and Madison, to make this arrangement till John and Mary for the present go to your house and go to Madison the times you prefer. Let him keep Sarah - I will allow him whatever you and John may say is right.

I sent a copy of your fathers letter to me about John's (word I can't make out) the land to you or Madison. I am inclined to think, unless your father's debts make it necessary to sell the land - the children are entitled to it under your fathers letter to me. I sent a copy to Lewis Chapman the administrator. I presume, John got the young horses of which your father speaks in the letter! Wm Caldwell is alive but not able to walk from paralysis. (word) (looks like Father) Caldwell suffered a stroke of apoplexy in October; He is idiotic; These are the results of intoxicating drink.

My sisters Abby and Sally are only in tolerable health; Elizabeth, Abby's daughter, at Christmas ran away and married Dr. Eighburgen; There was no other objection to the match, save that she was engaged to a (word can't make out) man Mr. Gibbs had caused him to come over from New Orleans, and he was at her fathers and expected to marry her the evening she ran off. Such cannot fail to be punished. John (don't know what John this is) lives on my place in Greenville, practices medicine and is doing well. Sarah My daughter and her husband have six children, four girls and two boys; within a few days they have moved to the place where Esqr. Harrington in his life time lived. William bought it from his Mother. The town of Newberry contains 1200 inhabitants; it is constantly increasing. Would that you could see the change the Rail Road haswrought.

Wm. O'Neall, Sarah and Wm. unite with me in wishing to be remembered to your wife and children.

Y'r Cousin

John Belton O'Neall

P.S. I see from Uncle's letter to which I have had reference to send a copy to Mr. Chapman - that your daughter died of consumption, allow me therefore to say to you that whenever any of your family or our friends are threatened with this terrible disease, obtain and give liberally the "Cod Liver Oil", beyond all doubt, it will cure (word can't make out) consumption. Me, who have coughs should get and take it.

I have today paid for the Temperance Advocate for another year - and directed it to be sent to you at Newberry instead of your father. I wish all your brothers family, who will, to read it. O'N

The following letter is from James M. O'Neall to his Brother (my G-G- Grandfather William O'Neall) it seems they were trying to prove their connection to a Miles Estate in England- I assume it was an Estate of an Ancestor of Mary Miles O'Neall - their Mother." ( Jim O'Neall)

May the 28th 1870

Mr William O'Neall

Dear Brother

Brother I take the present time of Writing you, and hope these lines may find you all well. We are all well at this time. I have been afflicted with Neuralgie for the last two months But have got well since the weather has got warm.

It is very Dry here, no rain for two months, our Wheat will not make half a crop, our corn does not come up good. The ground is too Dry. Times is uncommon hard here, no money in circulation and Prices of Every thing going Down, But high Tariffs are stile kept up. Against the Will of the great majority of the People. I received Another letter last mail from England, they say they are making Every Effort they can to find the Miles Will, as, there is several Cases in Chancery in the Miles Name this is my Best hopes, for if they can find it on Record, it will Establish more Proof than we can, in our favor.

I Received A Late Letter from Benjamin Miles of West Branch Iowa, he says they failed to get the investigation Done at Philadelphia By Mr. Joel Bean, that it would cost, over one hundred Dollars to get it done. This should have been Done, Long ago, Their church Records there shows That old Benjamin Miles Died there, and We Believe that he layed of Miles Town, That the City of Philadelphia is spread over at this time. I see a case Lately of a man Proving himself to Be the Right heir to an Estate in England that was 98 years in Chancery, &, got it,,,

We shall Look for more news from Eng. soon, as we expect to continue trying to Establish our Relation. Some of our neighbors here are moving to Cass County, Missouri and Kansas, near Fort Scott, they say the land is very good and some can be bought yet for 125. per Acre. I intend going out this fall, it is a great Deal warmer than here. Doc. McDaniel, says it is the Best country he Ever saw, and very healthy. There has been more Deaths here in my Acquaintance this Breaking up of Winter, than I Ever heard of Before, at Least one hundred.

I must close for the Present give my Respects to All, write Soon, in Haste,

James M. Oneall

Notes: Pat T. Arch refers to his Aunt Rhoda I think this may be your Rhoda O'Neall Chapman. Also Jill I have a little information on the Belton family from William Belton of WV I will go through it and pass it on I have asked him if it was ok to share the info and he said that would be great! Jim Letter from Archibald T. O'Neall to his father William C. O'Neall

April 12, 1871
Swan Creek, Warren Co., Ill

Dear Father and Mother,

I rec'd your last letter one week ago. We were very sorry to hear that you both were afflicted but glad that it is no worse than it is. I hope when you rec'v this it may find you both well, this leaves us all tolerable well, the connections are generally hearty as far as I know.

I was over to Aunt Rhodas ("I think this may be Rhoda O'Neall Chapman, sister of William C. O'Neall") too she is not very well but so as to be. about our big snow that fell on the 5th is all melted and gone and people have commenced farming again..... The election last Tuesday went off very quiet, the Grangers had out their ticket but did not succeed very well, they got two or three of the little town offices.

Well father I will enclose 10 dollars in this letter to you and register it, I would send more but right at the present I am pretty well drained, I am painting my barn, will have it finished by the middle of the week the painter will have to be paid as soon as he is through so I must keep a little money by me. I have also just finished building a nice yard fence too that took some money but I hope this 10 dollars will do you some good until I can get my hogs off then I can let you have all you will want.

I have 25 head, I want to keep them 3 or 4 weeks yet. I have about 1100 bushels of corn to sell and it is a good price (80) cts but I am so busy that I can not haul it. When you write again let me know how much you want and I will send it. Tell Ma she must not work too hard, she is too old to work much as to you and her gardening, I say let it alone. If I and Tom("Thomas Benton O'Neall") cannot raise truck enough for you without any of your help, We had better quit.

Come over here and than back to Iowa and then come again two or three times this summer, it won't take such a terrible sight of money and it is pleasant in the warm weather to be riding around. I believe it would be good for you. I know it would make me feel well. Father it makes me feel very bad when I read in you letter that your life seemed to be like that of the hermit to you. Now I don't want it to seem so to you I want you to have a horse and buggy this summer & go all around when the weather is fine. If you are coming out here I want you to enjoy yourself. If you stay there I want the same and it shall be so if it is within my power to make it and I think Tom will be of the same mind that I am Now I want you to write soon let me know how you are both getting along, let me know whether you would not like to have a horse and buggy, if you do you must have it. So no more but remain as ever your son Arch O'Neall

Wm &Mary O'Neall

Notes: "Another letter from Arch to his father William C. O'Neall, this written just a year before Arch's death in 1875. Note: he speaks of some kin J.J. Boyd and also about going to see Tom Thumb." - Jim

May 24th 1874

Swan Creek Warren Co., IL

Dear Father and Mother

After some delay I am trying to answer your last letter, since then I have received a letter for Tom (Thomas Benton O'Neall) & one from sister Rhoda (married a Leandar Booth) all of the reported reasonable health which gives me great satisfaction. This leaves us all tolerable well. Nettie had a little sick spell today but soon got over it, for myself, I am rather down again, I keep going but it is about all that I can do. Warm weather don't seem to agree with me but I am not feeling so bad as I did last spring yet.

It has been almost a month since I rec'd your last letter, you said you were coming home in a month and now I will commence to look for you. I am not done planting corn yet but will get done in a couple of days if the weather keeps favorable, we have had a very nice spring so far farming the nicest I ever done. I am putting out 90 acres of corn, have quite a large patch of wheat sowed it looks very favorable oats look fine the peach and apple trees blossomed very full this spring.

J. J. Boyd was over to see us today he said the kin were all well as common in that section Well Pa, I have to go to Monmouth tomorrow, I am supoened there on a case between barefoot Smith & John Conlee concerning some corn that I don't know anything about but I have been pretty lucky in my short life this being the first time that I ever had to attend court and I wouldn't have had to of went this time if I had of stayed at home and minded my own business but little Tom Thumb came along last winter showing himself and Lizzie & I went to see him and while on the road I heard the talk that I am paying for now. Lizzie and the children have gone to Mr. Wankirks to get one of his girls to come and stay while I go to court.

Well Pa I want to see you and Ma awful bad and I would like to see Rhoda mighty well. I had a notion to write to her and see if she wouldn't like to come with you out here on a visit. I am willing to pay her fare here and back if she would come. I think it would do me more good to see her than that amount of money Well Pa write soon as you can & come home too. Yours as ever

Arch O'Neall

Notes: "In this letter the writer tell's of an old aunt Kirkpatrick and also talks of a visit from Old Cary O'Neall and describes Cary and his daughter, Kinda funny!!" Jim

Oct 16th 1874

Swan Creek Ill, Warren Co.

Dear Father & Mother

We rec'd you letter a few days ago and was glad to hear from you I thought you and Tom was never going to write after you got there. This leaves us all tolerable well hope when this comes to hand it may find you all well it has been very lonesome since you left but we have been so busy that we wore it off well. Lizzie and the children have gone from home to day Newt's mother came up yesterday from Industry & brought old aunt Kirkpatrick with her and they and Lizzie have gone over north some place today. Well Pa I thrashed since you left, you know we thought the oats were wet when you left but they were not.

My grain was all dry and nice. We have not had any rain since you left to amount to anything, I wish it would rain so we could have plenty of stock water. Indian summer has commenced now and I fear it will be dry for some time. I had 306 bushel of wheat the nicest that I ever raised every body wants it for seed I will be sure to get 1.00 a bushel for it, wheat at town is worth 79cts per bushel, oats was worth 50cts but are down at present to 45cts I and Tom together had 405 bushel of oats I had 150 of rye sold it for 78cts per bu.

Well Pa I have my smoke house almost done we will get it done tomorrow then I will have to wait a few days to get it, the cellar, cemented well I must not forget to tell you that Old Cary O'Neall has been out here on a visit he came over and staid all night with us he is as ugly as ever I think he is powerful smart but I don't think anybody else thinks so. He is a granger one of his daughters came along with him she is a chip off the same block of her Daddy.

The large store in Swan Creek burned down last Tuesday morning it was owned by Billy Stevenson he had an insurance on the stock and will not lose anything the building however was not insured nobody knows how it happened it burned about 4 o'clock in the morning. The country is plumb full of peddlers rovers from Kansas things will happen when that is the case.

Tell mother that we have the house all replastered and fixed up snug and warm and I would like very much to have her come back and winter with us, I think it would save me a trip for I will have to see her before spring some way if I have to go out there. I will commence gathering my apples Tuesday and I will send you two or three barrels

-(then the letter ends there must have been another page for it is not complete and does not carry Arch's signature but I am confident this is from Arch to William and Mary Boyd O'Neall.

I guess this is the way they made sure that mom and dad were going to be taken care of in their old age.

This is an article of agreement between Archibald Talbott O'Neall, Thomas Benton O'Neall and William C. and Mary Boyd O'Neall (their father and mother) for the perpetual care of the senior O'Nealls. This conveys property to the two boys as the basis for such perpetual care. (Jim O'Neall)


To whom it may concern,

An Article of agreement made and entered into this the 12th day of May A.D. 1873 By A.T. & T.B. O'Neall of the first part & William and Mary O'Neall of the second part Witnesseth the party of the first part for and in consideration of a Deed on the South East Quarter of Section 25, 8, N. of R 3, W. of the 4th principle Meridian in the county of Warren and the state of Illinois.

Wherewith the parties of the first part agrees to support and maintain & clothe and provide all the necessaries of life During their lives and futher the parties of the first part agree with the parties of the second part that in case of a failure to Support them as above agreed that the Deed on the above Described land shall be of no effect or force and the parties of the second part shall have the right to take immediate possession of the same Ehereof the parties of the first part have hereunto subscribed their hands and seal this 12th day of May A. D. 1873

signatures) _____________ Arch T. O'Neall

_____________ Thos. B. O'Neall

And further the said A.T. O'Neall of the first party agrees with the parties of the second part to pay Rhoda M. Booth a certain amount to be hereafter agreed upon, but not less than five hundred dollars, by the parties in writing Whereof I have hereunto Subscribed my hand and Seal this the 12th day of May A. D. 1873 (signature) _______________ Arch T. O'Neall

(Followed by a different hand and pen this: "Recieved payment in full of the above claim" (no signature this followed by the words in another hand that reads) "Who wrote these upper three lines"

(On the back side is the signature of William O'Neall)

This letter may be of some interest to those who had ancestors in and around Appleton City MO Chapmans and O'Nealls.

This letter is written by one J. P. Chapman to Thomas Benton O'Neall of Clarke Co., Iowa. It speaks of a one J.B. O'Neall who apparently owes Thomas some money. (Jim O'Neall)


Appleton City, St. Clair County, MO

Oct.22, 1882

Mr. T.B. O'Neall

Dear Cousin I will now answer your letter. I saw J. B. O'Neall yesterday about what he owed you he says he can't pay you at present time but will pay you some time. My opinion is that you will not get your money soon, unless you get it by taking or trading for something he has to sell, to get property by law would be impossible as he hasn't near what the law allows him.

He says he isn't going to stay here until the first of March, talks some of going to Kansas, his wife & oldest boy has been very sick with Mallarial fever this fall but are all well now.

He has about 1,200 bushels of corn to sell & if you are willing to take my obligations for what he owes you & give me until next July to dispose of the corn, I think I can get it out of him. Though I can't say for certain that he will sell corn & take pay in his own paper.

If you want to do this let me know immediately. I will buy the corn if he will let it go that way & take for my trouble of taking corn all I make on it over and above what I give for it if you will let me hold it until July next. Do as you please in regard to this. I think about all the way you will get your pay is to buy something he has to sell.

Corn is selling at from 25 to 30 cts pr bushel, Oats .25, wheat .85, Flax .92, hogs gross 7 1/2 to 81/2 pr hind section, feeders 4 to 4 1/2. Crops are very good here this season, vegetables of all kinds plenty.

We have been having the ague some this fall, Lizzie has a chill at this time, rest of the family up & around hoping this may find all well.

Remaining you Cousin

J. P. Chapman

Do any of you know who this J. M. O'Neall of Fort Worth might be? Jim

Could be the John O'Neall who settled in Gonzales, TX-Jill

This appears to be a a contract allowing a manufacturer in Iowa the right to manufacture and supply in the state of Kansas a self feeder and band cutter for a threshing machine developed by J.M. O'Neall of Fort Worth, Texas.

(Jim O'Neall)


Know all men by these presents that J. M. O'Neall of Fort Worth, Texas have this day bargained and agreed sold and do by these presents herby bargain sell and convey unto Earheart of Clarke Co., Iowa for the sum or consideration of one hundred dollars to me in hand paid the right where of is here by acknowledged the right to manufacture and sell O'Nealls self feeder and band cutter in the Kansas untill all threshers in use are supplied with the O'Neall band cutter and feeder.

The grantor here by avers that letters of pattent for his O'Nealls self feeder and band cutter were granted on the 13th of July AD 1877 and are the exclusive property of the grantor J.M. O'Neall


(on the outside of the page is written "Power of Atty from J.M. O'Neall to Abraham Ayerhart")

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