Edwin Lester O'Neil, of Topeka, was born on a farm near Perry, Pike county, Illinois, July 18, 1873. He is a son of Felix O'Neil, a farmer and native of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth (Turner) O'Neil, who was a native of Indiana. In 1880 Felix O'Neil removed with his family from Illinois to Kansas, making the trip in two covered wagons over the old historic trails of immigration and locating on a farm in Brown county. On this Brown county farm Edwin Lester O'Neil was reared to manhood. His mother died at Hiawatha, Jan. 10, 1907. The farm is still owned by his father, who now makes his home in Hiawatha.
Edwin L. O'Neil obtained his earlier education in the country schools and in the Hiawatha Academy, graduating at the latter institution. He then entered Washburn College, at Topeka, where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Law in 1901. After leaving Washburn College he was for several years engaged in business pursuits at Topeka. His service as a public official began in 1905, when he was elected clerk of the court of Topeka. In 1907 he was reëlected, and while serving in that capacity he studied law in Washburn College, and on Jan. 21, 1909, he was admitted to the bar by the Kansas state supreme court. Since that time he has practiced law in addition to discharging his official duties. While serving his second term as clerk of the court of Topeka he resigned from that position to accept the office of county commissioner, to which he was elected in 1908 for a term which will not expire until January, 1913. Mr. O'Neil is a director in the Capital City Vitrified Brick & Paving Company, and is also attorney for this firm. He is a prominent member of the professional and social organizations, a member of the Shawnee county and Kansas state bar associations, the Commercial Club, and is a Knight Templar Mason. He is a member of the Jayhawker Club of Topeka, of which he was one of the founders and organizers. His political relations are with the Republican party.
Mr. O'Neil was married April 29, 1903, to Miss Octavia Greenwood, who had been a classmate of his in Washburn College. The following year, in September, she died, leaving an infant daughter, Octavia, who was born Aug. 10, 1904. On Oct. 9, 1907, he was married to Miss Nina Thomas, a native of Topeka, a daughter of Adolph Thomas and granddaughter of Chester Thomas, who was one of the early pioneers of the city of Topeka. Adolph Thomas was clerk of the Federal court of Topeka for several years and now resides at Silver Lake, Kan. Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil have two children: Thomas Edwin, born Nov. 13, 1909; and Richard Turner, born July 12, 1911. Mr. O'Neil is a member of the Central Congregational church.Pages 788-789 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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