Ohio Biographies

Oliver U. O'Neill, M.D.

Well fortified in technical skill and in unfaltering devotion to his exacting and humane profession. Dr. O'Neill holds place as one of the representative physicians and surgeons engaged in practice in the City of Ironton, the capital and metropolis of Lawrence County. There is distinctive satisfaction in noting his professional and civic status by reason of bis being a native son of the county which is still his home, and he is a representative of an old and honored family in this section of the State.

Dr. O'Neill was born in Mason Township. Lawrence County, Ohio, on the 1st of March, 1870, and is a son of William and Rhuama (Wymer) O'Neill. the former of whom was born in .Monroe County, this State, in 1825, a member of a family, of Irish lineage, that was founded in this commonwealth in the pioneer days, and the latter of whom was born in Morgan County, on the 3d of March, 1834: she is one of the venerable and loved pioneer women of Lawrence County and still resides on the old homestead farm in Mason Township, where her husband died in his eightieth year, secure in the high esteem of all who knew him. William O'Neill devoted virtually his entire active career to the basic industry of agriculture of which he was long a prosperous and representative exponent in Lawrence County, and to him was due also the honor of having served as a defender of the Union in the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in Company K, One Hundred and Seventy-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and his term of service comprised about fifteen months, at the expiration of which he received his honorable discharge, his continued interest in his old comrades having been indicated in later years by his affiliation with the Grand Army of the Republic. William and Rhuama (Wymer) O'Neill became the parents of six children, the names of whom are here entered, in the respective order of birth: John W., George W., Enola A., Elmer, Nelson W. and Oliver U. Of the number Enola A., Elmer and Nelson W. are deceased.

To the public schools of his native county Dr. O'Neill is indebted for his early educational training, and he had the good fortune or wisdom to make proper preliminary provision for the responsibilities and intellectual demands that were to be placed upon him in the profession of his choice, for he did not neglect that all important feature of adequate academic training as a prerequisite of that of technical order. After a course in the Ohio Northern Normal University, at Ada, Hardin County, the Doctor devoted four years to successful teaching in the public schools of his native State, and in preparation for his chosen profession he was matriculated in the medical department of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897 and from which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine, his assiduity and ambition as a student having been on a parity with those that he has exemplified in the active work of his profession.

The professional novitiate of Dr. O'Neill was served in his native township, where he established himself in practice with residence beadquarters in the village of Wilgus. He soon emerged from the ranks of the tyros of his chosen calling and developed a substantial practice, to which he continued to devote his attention for three years. For three months thereafter be was located at Valley View, Madison County, Kentucky, and he then returned to Lawrence County and passed nine months in practice at Aid. In 1903 he transferred his residence and professional headquarters to the city of fronton, and here he has lived up most fully to the larger and more exacting duties devolving upon him both as a physician and as a progressive and public-spirited citizen. He has served as coroner of his county for four years and was re-elected in 1914 for another two years in that office. He has a substantial and representative practice, and its scope and importance best vouch for his ability and personal popularity in the county that has always represented bis home.

Dr. O'Neill is actively identified with the Lawrence County Medical Society, the Ohio State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, He is serving at the present time not only as county coroner but also as secretary of the Lawrence County Board of United States Pension Examining Surgeons. The Doctor is aligned as a loyal supporter of the principles of the republican party, both he and his wife are zealous members of the Pine Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is affiliated with the local organizations of the Knights of Pythias, Knights of the Golden Eagle, and Junior Order of United American Mechanics. His attractive residence, at the corner of South Third and Walnut Streets, is owned by the Doctor, and he owns another residence property, on Fourth Street, as well as a block devoted to business and residence apartments, on South Third Street. He is a director of the South Side Building, Loan & Savings Company.

On the 22d of December, 1898, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. O'Neill to Miss Ida Mac Ruth, daughter of George and Maria Ruth, of Portsmouth, Scioto County, both parents being now deceased. Dr. and Mrs. O'Neill became the parents of three children, the first born having been Collis W., who died in childhood. Ruth and Stanley P. remain at the parental home and add to its attractions as a center of gracious hospitality.


From "A Standing History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio" by Eugene B. Willard, Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman and Charles B. Taylor.  Published by Lewis Publishing Company, 1916