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Near O’Neill in Holt County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

O’Neill

 
 
ONeill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, July 27, 2008
1. ONeill Marker
Inscription.  One of the most colorful leaders in the early development of Nebraska was General John O'Neill, founder of O'Neill. After leading several ill-fated raids against British military posts in Canada 1866-1871, O'Neill lost his leading position in the Fenians – an American organization promoting Irish independence. Born in Ireland in 1834, he was a U.S. Army officer from 1857 to 1864, when he became active in the Fenians. In 1871, though in disfavor with the leading Irish-American society, O'Neill did not give up the cause.

Thousands of Irish were leaving troubled Ireland to settle in crowded American cities. O'Neill became interested in founding agrarian colonies in the West. For his first colony, he selected Holt County, on Nebraska's frontier. The first colonists arrived in May 1874, and his fourth and last group arrived in 1877. General O'Neill died the following year, but the town was already the county seat and growing.

Though there were numerous Irish settlements in Nebraska, O'Neill was the largest formal Irish colony. Its citizens have always been proud of their Old World heritage.
 
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O’Neill Chamber of Commerce, Historical Land Mark Council. (Marker Number 78.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1874.
 
Location. 42° 26.099′ N, 98° 36.118′ W. Marker is near O’Neill, Nebraska, in Holt County. Marker is on U.S. 20, 2˝ miles east of O’Neill, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oneill NE 68763, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named O'Neill (approx. 2.9 miles away); U.S. Highway 281 (approx. 7.4 miles away); Page Base Line (approx. 9.7 miles away); Page School (approx. 9.7 miles away).
 
O'Neill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, July 27, 2008
2. O'Neill Marker
Shamrock painted on the main street of O'Neill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, July 27, 2008
3. Shamrock painted on the main street of O'Neill
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,110 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 28, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024