O'Neill, Thomas (1851 - 1872)







----Source: NEILLSVILLE REPUBLICAN 03/07/1872

O'Neill, Thomas (1851 - 1872)

After a lingering illness of several months, varying considerably in severity, Thomas O'Neill, only son of James O'Neill, the pioneer and founder of this village (Neillsville, Clark County), died in Sparta (where he had been receiving medical treatment) on last Saturday noon, March 2, 1872, aged 21 years and 20 days. The sad intelligence conveyed in the foregoing lines, reached here by telegram soon after the event which they chronicled had transpired. His remains were brought here on the following day by his parents, who were with him in his dying hours, in a costly black walnut casket with silver mountings, and otherwise appropriately decorated, and preserved until yesterday to await the arrival of a sister from school, before being consigned to their resting place. The deceased had suffered a great deal, and a short time before his death he was rendered entirely blind by the affections of his system, which were numerous, the most prominent among which were dropsy and disease of the liver and kidneys. The news came wholly unexpected, except to a few, and as the sorrowful tiding went rapidly from mouth to mouth, a wide-spread feeling of sorrow and sadness became very soon apparent in the village.


Tommy O'Neill, as he was familiarly known, was born and reared in this place, and probably had a larger circle of acquaintances than any young man in this vicinity. His friends were legion, because he possessed a rare faculty for sociability, was proverbially honest and ever frank, generous and warm-hearted. He was really the pet of the town and was accorded rare privileges by everybody. As evidence of this high regard we will only refer to the large concourse of people who gathered at the little church yesterday to witness the funeral ceremonies and pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of the departed. He was the only son of kind, living and devoted parents, the only affectionate brother of two loving sisters. To them the death of Tommy has caused the most poignant grief, and they have the heartfelt sympathy of a sorrowful community in their bereavement. It is indeed hard to see a young man full of life and hope, cut down just at his maturity, when everything is promising and nothing has yet been realized. But death loves a shining mark, and the blow is given without the power of human hands to avert it.



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