John Raymond O’Neill, The Glen and the Death of Dan O’Neill — Almonte

John Raymond O’Neill, The Glen and the Death of Dan O’Neill — Almonte

From Catherine O’Neill Salki

My Grandfather (John Raymond O’Neill) was born and lived somewhere in Almonte. I’m wondering if there’s someway of finding out where he and his family lived? His older brother, Daniel, drowned while swimming/jumping off the mill bridge. You seem to have access to materials and/or people who might know more about these relatives of mine in Almonte. Grampa’s father (John Joseph O’Neill) was probably a contractor and his Mother (Martha Dunne) was maybe a teacher, prior to their marriage. I know they moved to North Bay after Daniel died, but I’d like to know more about their Almonte life. I often wonder why John Raymond O’Neill needed to return there, to live out his life…he loved The Glen, which he bought from Archie Rosamond sometime in the late 30’s or early 40’s

Author’s NoteJohn Raymond O’Neill was listed in Wikpedia as have being a promoter, prospector and Conservative politician born in Almonte. He bought the Glen from the estate of Archie Rosamond in June of 1945. Archie Rosamond died in July of 1944 and his funeral service was also held at the Glen.

From Wikipedia.

John Raymond O’Neill (19 January 1891 – 18 July 1951) was a Conservative member of the House of Commons of Canada. He was born in Almonte, Ontario and became a promoter and prospector.

O’Neill attended school at Almonte then St. Michael’s College and the University of Toronto where he attained his Bachelor of Arts degree.

He made an unsuccessful bid for a Legislative Assembly of Ontario seat in the 1923 provincial election.

He was elected to Parliament at the Timiskaming North riding in the 1925 general election. After serving only one term, the 15th Canadian Parliament, he was defeated by Joseph-Arthur Bradette of the Liberals. Click her

Author’s Note–It was difficult finding things at first because the last name of O’Neil was written with either one L or two.. but loved finding out this family’s tidbits.

The Story of John Raymond O’Neill….July 19 1951

Almonte people were shocked  Wednesday morning to learn that John Raymond O’Neill had died during the night on a C.P.R. railway train while on his way from Ottawa to Toronto. Mr. O’Neill was only 59 years of age, but had suffered from a heart condition for some time. In spite of this indisposition he was a very active businessman and travelled extensively in this connection which must have been hard on him.

He was a native of ‘ Almonte and came back here to reside in June of 1945 when he bought “The Glen” from the estate of the late A. G. Rosamond. He had been driven to Ottawa on Tuesday night to catch the C.P.R. train for Toronto and  took a compartment on one of the sleepers and it was when he failed to respond to the porter’s knock next morning that it was discovered he had succumbed during the night. 

Native of this Town The late Mr. O’Neill was bom in Almonte, a son of the late John J. O’Neill and his wife, Martha Dunn. His father was a wagon maker by trade and being a staunch Conservative, was given contracts on the T. & N.O. Railway—now the Northland—building stations when that transportation system was being constructed by the Whitney Government to open up what was then known as New Ontario. 

The family removed from here to North Bay and Ray got his education in several places. He started off in Almonte, went to secondary school in North Bay, attended Ottawa University for a time and took his B.A. degree at St. Michaels College, Toronto University. Being brought up in the north country at a time when the great mining industry was opening up around Cobalt and other points, it is understandable that he early developed a taste for that line of business and speculation. He was engaged at the nickel mines at Sudbury for some years and it was there that he married Queena Croteau who survived him. 

Later he and his wife moved to Timmins, then on the threshold of a development that has become phenomenal. He became associated with the Dome Mines there and served that corporation in various capacities. It was while in Timmins that Mr. O’Neill took an active interest in politics. Following in the family tradition he was a Conservative, and he did much to build up the fortunes of that Party in the northern riding where he lived. Many of those associated with the mines had no definite political leanings or beliefs, and Mr. O’Neill in creating a smoothly functioning Conservative o organization showed the same ability he so often displayed in his business operations.

In 1925, after a hard fight he won the riding of Temiskaming and went to the House at Ottawa at a time when many new faces showed up behind the banners of the then Conservative leader, Rt. Hon. Arthur Meighen, including a very aggressive one— that of Rt. Hon. R. B. Bennett. That session was a stormy one. It saw the Stevens charges hurled across the floor at a corrupt department of customs and excise under the control of an elderly minister, the late Hon. Jacques Bureau. A committee composed of Liberals. Progressives and Conservatives was appointed to sift the charges made by Hon. H. H. Stevens and it was then that Mr. Bennett had a chance to show his brilliant work as an inquisitor. Nor was Mr. Stevens far behind him in that regard although he was a businessman, not a lawyer. 

In the end, the Liberals changed their minister of customs and revenue. Mr. Bureau was retired to the Senate and Hon. Geo. Boivon was appointed to replace him. But this adroit move on the part of Prime Minister Mackenzie King only staved off the evil day. His government went down to defeat on a want of confidence vote in which Conservatives and Progresives joined in condemnation of the shady work that had gone on in the department of customs and inland revenue. Although a personal friend of the minister, Mr. Bovin, Mr. O’Neill naturally voted with his Party on this issue. As will be recalled, Mr. Meighen formed a government, went to the people but was defeated together with many of his followers including Mr. O’Neill. After this Mr. O’Neill turned his attention to the mining business with conspicuous success. 

He had the faculty of being able to interest capitalists in Canadian properties. He made many visits to the United States in this connection and had contacts with Andrew Mellon, one of the wealthiest men who then lived south of the line. Most of his activities were centred around Timmins and other points in Northern Ontario and Quebec. But he was a man that had a keen sense of perception in regard to possible new developments. He heard stories about the potentialities of lead and silver mines in the Yukon which had been closed down after the financial crash that brought on the lean thirties.

He made his first flight this far off territory in 1946, and from that time on he was the moving spirit in what is known as the Keno-Hill mining district located 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle. This location is near Mayo Landing on the Stewart River and before the advent of aeroplanes had to be reached by steamer. When Mr. O’Neill made his first visit he was accompanied by an old timer of the gold trek of ’98, Archie Martin of Aylmer, Que. During the time he has concentrated his attention on the Keno Hill section, Mr. O’Neill is credited with bringing about some 20 consolidations in that particular area. 

Fortune favored him in his undertaking to the extent that the mines which practically closed down owing to the depression in the price of lead and silver, felt the impetus of rising market prices affecting those minerals. But added to this he was a keen mining man and knew how to take advantage of opportunities offered. Since his first trip into the Keno-Hill district, Mr. O’Neill made several more. But he left the active management of the properties to his eldest son, John Barry. 

While air is the favored means of transportation into the area, it now can be reached by motor vehicle over a 250 mile spur connecting with the Alaska Highway. The late Mr. O’Neill is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, namely, John Barry, Terrence, Miss Geraldine and Nancy (Mrs. Chas. Major) of Hull, Que. There are also three sisters, Margaret (Mrs. Walton Moffatt) and Mazie (Mrs. Potter) both of Detroit, and Miss Theresa of’London, Ont. 

A brother, Daniel, was drowned, here, as a boy. Fortunately Barry was at his home, here, when his father received the sudden call, but Terry was in the Yukon. A telephone message was sent to White Horse and from there a radio message was dispatched to Keno-Hill. It was expected he would start the long flight Tuesday evening which would bring him home by Friday. 

The funeral will be held on Saturday morning from his late residence, “The Glen,” to St. Mary’s Church where requiem high mass will be celebrated. Interment will be in the family plot in the parish cemetery. Mr. O’Neill’s business office was in Toronto and he was always on the go, having comparatively little time to spend at his attractive home here. But he had many friends, some of whom remembered him from the old days when he was a boy around town. While he was in Ottawa as a member, he made periodic visits to Almonte during the session, sometimes accompanied by his old friend another old native of this town, the late M. J. Cullen, who rose in the civil service to a high executive post in the immigration department. As might be expected from what has been written about Mr. O’Neill’s life, he had a winning personality and a most persuasive way of talking to the big fellows whom he wanted to interest in Canadian mining properties. He was a pleasant man to meet, very unassuming and friendly. All those who knew him will regret his sudden passing at such an early age. July 19 1951

John Raymond O’Neill

John Raymond O’Neill
M (Male)
Birth Date:
19 Jan 1891
Death Date:
18 Jul 1951
Saint Marys Roman Catholic Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:
Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada

Born in Almonte Ontario Canada on 19 January 1891 to John Joseph O’Neill and Martha Teresa Dunn. John Raymond O’Neill married Mary Alma Regina Queena Croteau and had 5 children. He passed away on 18 Jul 1951 in Union Station Toronto.

Brother of John Raymond O’Neill- Daniel O’ Neill died in 1903 at the age of 14

Name:Daniel James O’Neill
Gender:M (Male)
Birth Date:15 Jan 1889
Death Date:1 Jul 1903
Cemetery:Saint Marys Roman Catholic Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:N
Father:John Joseph O’Neill
Mother:Martha Theresa O’Neill

Daniel J. O’ Neill died at age 14 July 1, 1903

July 3, 1903– Almonte GazetteDeath of Dan O’Neill

Wednesday was a day of strangely mingled sentiment, for in the midst of hearing the word of Almonte’s triumph came the sad tidings of the ending of a bright young life, which the morning’s sun had seen full of life and spirits was ended in the Mississippi River.

Dan O’Neill, son of Mr. J. J. O’ Neill, aged fourteen years, who for some time has been employed as a clerk with Mr. J . H. F. Timmins; in the gent’s furnishing department, was liked by everyone for his never-ceasing good nature and sunny smile were bound to win him friends. 

Only July 1 he with a companion, S. Smith, had gone down the river to bathe at rock bottom, where for a piece the water is quite shallow, but the bottom suddenly shelves off into a hole twenty feet in depth. Neither boy could swim. They were paddling around in an old boat, and lost their oars-; and the boat commenced to drift from shore, and Dan, supposing they were still in shallow water, jumped from the craft. He managed to keep up for a few moments, but before aid could reach him sank below the surface, never to come up alive.

His friend could do nothing to save him, as the boat was rapidly drifting away. Mr. W H. Wylie and family were picnicking down the river, and in the afternoon he and his son, William, rowed up the river a piece in order to have a swim. While passing the boys they saw only one in the boat-, but before they reached the point to which they were going, their attention was attracted by a man across the river calling to them that a boy was drowning.

They immediately turned around, but before they could reach him they saw the boy go down. They hastened to the spot, and Mr. W. Wylie, of the post office, dove with all his clothes on to try and bring the lad up. He could not  reach him, however, on account of the air in his clothes preventing him from going deep enough, although he could see the body at the bottom. 

He made several more attempts, but did not again see anything more of the drowning boy. An alarm was at once given and the river dragged for the body, which was recovered about two hours later by Dr. Metcalf with a grappling iron about thirty feet from where the tragedy occurred. The death, which plunged the whole town into sorrow, made doubly sad from the fact that the boy’s father was at North Bay at the time, and did not arrive home until Thursday morning. The funeral will be held on Friday morning at 9 o’clock.

In what I thought was a macabre move Timmons’ mens haberdashery where young Daniel worked at a full length ad that ran right next to the story of his drowning. July 3, 1903

John Joseph O’Neill

DEATH4 Mar 1923 (aged 74–75)
BURIALSaint Marys Roman Catholic CemeteryAlmonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
PLOTA071 Grave #1

John Joseph O’Neill

When John Joseph O’Neill was born on January 10, 1852, in Fitzroy, Ontario, his father, Daniel, was 32 and his mother, Anne, was 21. He married Martha Teresa Dunn on January 22, 1888, in Renfrew, Ontario. They had six children in 12 years. He died on March 4, 1923, in North Bay, Ontario, at the age of 71. John Joseph O’Neill and Martha Teresa Dunn were divorced– no date given.

His wife Martha Teresa Dunn was born on January 11, 1859, in Renfrew, Ontario, the daughter of Mary and James. She married John Joseph O’Neill on January 22, 1888, in her hometown. They had six children in 12 years. She died on February 23, 1933, in Detroit, Michigan, USA, at the age of 74. They had their children in Almonte and death of son Daniel James O’Neill was in Almonte (1889–1903)

John Joseph O’Neill and Martha Theresa Dunn had the following children:
i. DANIEL JAMES O’NEILL was born on 15 Jan 1889 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. He
died in 1903.

ii. JOHN RAYMOND O’NEILL was born on 19 Jan 1891 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. He
married Queenie Alma Croteau on 21 Jan 1918 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

iii. MARY O’NEILL was born on 01 Jan 1893 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. She married
George Franklin Potter, son of Truman Potter and Mary Gascoigne, on 16 Aug
1916 in Nipissing District, Nipissing, Ontario, Canada. He was born on 08 May 1892
in Kingston, Fontenac, Ontario, Canada.
iv. THERESA ANN O’NEILL was born on 29 Jun 1894 in Lanark, Ontario, Canada.

UPDATE-Thank you, Linda…what great info! I have clippings etc. that could be added… Grampa donated a big crucifix to St. Mary’s Church, and I believe it’s still there Story goes: He was a Seminarian (becoming a priest), when he met my grandmother Queena at a Sudbury church one Sunday, and the rest is history! His O’Neill family were disappointed (and angry with Queena) b/c he didn’t become a priest. Every Irish Catholic family expected one son to become a priest! ERROR it’s incorrect that John JO and Martha were divorced … JJO was divorced from his first wife in the US (I have her name downstairs (something ‘Burrows’ maybe)… I’ll send name to you.

Catherine O’Neill Salki

Mrs. Margaret O’ Neill— Family genealogy–

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 May 1942, Mon  •  Page 5

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s