O'Neil came to Streator at age 2, living on the family farm on Spring Lake Road. At age 24, being Streator's first blacksmith, he built a house and blacksmith shop at the top of the rise above the Vermillion River ford, now Water Street. His buildings were the first in what was to become Hardscrabble. His brother John joined him in the business. (It was John who named the settlement "Hardscrabble".) Josiah remained as a bladksmith for almost 30 years. He saw the development from settlement to incorporated village of Unionville in 1865 and then the incorporation of the village of Streator in 1868. His son, Warren, was the first child born in Hardscrabble.
Mr. O'Neil provided dentistry to many residents, as trained dentists were not available. He also served as fire chief, fighting the many fires that often broke out. As the community grew, he became more influential. He was elected village trustee and later alderman of his ward. O'Neil was a charter member of the first Masonic Lodge, holding high degrees in that organization.
-Riverview Cemetery: A self guided tour, 2nd ed. p 18.
Barnabas O'Neal (1807 - 1903)
Clarissa White O'Neil (1814 - 1846)
Matilda Elizabeth Woodruff O'Neil (1830 - 1913)*
Josiah O'Neil (1835 - 1889)
Margaret J. Woodruff (1836 - 1857)*
Abel O'Neil (1840 - 1865)*
Adaline O'Neal Rainey (1843 - 1925)*
Mary Catherine O'Neal Frisbey (1845 - 1922)*
Julianne O'Neil Fogler (1849 - 1879)**
Martha Ellen O'Neil Warfield (1853 - 1921)**
Plot: Block 9 Row 11
GPS (lat/lon): 41.12164, -88.85146
Created by: Timothy M. Coplin
Record added: Nov 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31716916