Old Photos

Dr. Orvil O'Neal

*Documents contributed by John O'Neal.  Thanks, John!


Orvil O'Neal, son of John and Martha Ann Hunt O'Neal of Knights Prairie, was born July 1, 1883 in McLeansboro.  He was a descendant of Hamilton County early settler, Henry O'Neal  As a young boy, Orvil was a student at White School in 1899.  Orvil completed the Central Examination held at McLeansboro February 24, 1900 and February 23, 1901.  His Certificate of Rank signed by David J. Underwood, Hamilton County Superintendent of Schools, ranks him first in a class of 33 pupils in 1900 and first in a class of 30 in 1901, for his seventh years work (see below).

On April 20, 1901, Orvil obtained a County Superintendent's Certificate of the Second Grade and began teaching.  He received his Second Grade Certificates until August 18, 1906, when he received a First Grade Certificate valid for two years.  It was signed by T. W. Biggerstaff, Superintendent of Schools for Hamilton County.  Orvil served as teacher of Sutton School in February 1906.

Orvil married Hattie Lillian Dial, daughter of Christopher Columbus and Leanna Mansell Dial April 1, 1903 in Hamilton County.  A note of personal reference was given to Orvil by J. H. Miller, President of Peoples Bank in 1906, possible in connection to Orvil's application to medical school.  On May 31, 1910, Orvil was conferred a Doctor of Medicine degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine and began his medical practice in Shattuck, Illinois, a major north-south/east-west railroad community.

*Orvil O'Neal died November 24, 1953 at a hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.  He was survived by his wife and three sons and two daughters: John A. of Princeton, California; James H. of Oregon, Wisconsin and Orvil J. in Japan; Mildred Mae Laufer of Urbana, Ohio; Marthalee Ness of Landonbert, Pennsylvania.  He also was survived by one brother and one sister: Charles O'Neal of Mt. Vernon, Illinois and Mrs. Ella Williford of McLeansboro, Illinois.  He is interred at Ripon, Wisconsin. 

*From Felty's Legacy of Kin, Vol. I, p. 633.  Obituary pub. December 17, 1953 in the Times-Leader.

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