O'Neill, William

Public Information

Name

O'Neill, William

Class

2002

Biography

(1860-1898) Son of a wounded and decorated Civil War veteran, was raised in Washington, D C. Educated at Gonzaga College and law school of what is now Georgetown University. Came to Phoenix in 1879 where he worked as a typesetter and faro dealer. Active in territorial militia, appointed adjutant general in 1889. A Republican, but later a populist, served as probate judge of Yavapai County and won fame for bravery and skill as a county sheriff. As county assessor, he battled the railroad. Was the Populist nominee for territorial delegate in 1894 and 1896. Also a short story writer, lawyer, miner, he was Mayor of Prescott at the outbreak of the Spanish American War. Volunteered for service and reputed to be first to join Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, training with them in San Antonio. As a captain, he was in the thick of fighting in Cuba and participated in the famous charge up San Juan Hill, where he was killed by a sniper. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery.