Goldfields Involvement, 1854
Post 1854 Experiences
- Widespread regret was felt and expressed in this district when it was learned that Mr Richard O’Neil, the well known auctioneer, had died on Tuesday morning.
- The late Mr O’Neill was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1847 and was therefore at his death sixty one years of age. When an infant he was taken by his parents to America, and after remaining there a few years they came to Victoria, in the early fifties. They lived at Ballarat for some time, being there at the period of the Eureka Stockade episode, after which they journeyed to Glenlyon, where they selected land, on the site of the old homestead where members of the family continued to reside until recently.
- The subject of this notice, in addition to engaging in farming pursuits entered upon the auctioneering business at Daylesford and Kyneton, and also saleyards at Glenlyon. He was a member of the Glenlyon Shire Council until he came to Daylesford to live, when he entered the borough council, heading the poll at his second election for the seat by a good majority. He afterwards took up residence at Kyneton, and then went to Bendigo, to which city he extended his auctioneering business. While living at Daylesford he stood for Parliament, for the old Creswick electorate, then returning three members, but was defeated by only 40 votes. Messrs Cooper, Wheeler and Richardson being returned in that order. When in Bendigo he contested the Barkly ward seat in the City Council and won a most exciting election by one vote. Subsequently he contested the seat in the Legislative Assembly for the representation of Mandurang and held it continuously for 13 years, being rejected in 1902 together with several other old members if Parliament who fell victim to the reform movement which then swept the county. For three years, in the Turner Administration, he was Government whip. He was a good practical member and very attentive to the wants of his constituents.
- He took a warm interest in agricultural matters, and his services as a judge at shows were much sought after, Daylesford being among the exhibitions at which he so acted. He was a good auctioneer and stock salesman, and his genial nature made him many warm friends throughout the districts where he was so well known.
- His death took place at Dr Moore’s private hospital, Melbourne, where he underwent an operation on Thursday last for an internal growth in the side, and there were strong hopes of his recovery until Monday, when he began to sink, and never rallied, death ensuing the following morning. The deceased gentleman took ill on the evening of the recent Legislative Council election, he having been a supporter if the successful candidate, Hon. G.T. Dickie, and worked hard to secure that gentleman’s return. He had a severe attack of influenza; and when under treatment at his home at Kyneton it was found by Dr Duncan and other doctors called in that the patient was suffering from an internal growth, for the removal of which he proceeded to Melbourne and placed himself under Dr Moore.
- To mourn their great loss, Mr O’Neill has left a widow (who is a daughter of the Late Mr John Egan of “Corinella”, Eganstown, and sister of Mr John Egan, J.P., of that place) and six children – four daughters (Misses Norah, Mary, Margaret, and Bridget) and two sons (Mr John O’Neill and Master Richard, the last named being thirteen years old, the youngest member of the family.)
The funeral takes place today, leaving Daylesford railway station on the arrival of the morning train from Melbourne, for the Eganstown R.C. Cemetery.
In The News
Corfield, J., Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
- Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.