Biography of Hon. Joseph O. Neill
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Neill, Hon. Joseph O., son of William and Margaret (Grenough) Neill, was born in Calais, Me., January 31, 1838, and obtained his education in the public schools. He was engaged in various pursuits as a young man, at one time (1857) making a voyage to Cuba in the ship Plumas. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. G, 4th Mass. Vols., Captain Gordon. This was the first regiment to reach Virginia, landing at Fortress Monroe. He was discharged July 22, 1861, but reenlisted from Taunton, in Co. F. 29th Mass. Vols., on November 21, 1861. In this company he was first sergeant, second lieutenant and first lieutenant, resigning from the latter office to return home and raise a company for the 60th Mass. Regiment under Colonel Wass. He was commissioned captain of Company D, from Fall River, in July, 1864. In civil life Mr. Neill has long been prominent in the official and business circles of Fall River, where he settled in 1865. He was first employed by Mr. P. D. Conant, a hardware dealer on Second street, where the post offce now stands. Some years later he was admitted to partnership and when Mr. Conant retired in 1886 he succeeded to the business, which had been moved to its present location on Bedford Street. Mr. Neill was a candidate against Robert Howard of Fall River, for State senator in 1886, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1891 and 1893, but was defeated. In 1888 he received a certificate of election over Mr. Howard, but the seat was successfully contested on the ground of a misspelled ballot. He was senator from the Second Bristol district in 1894, 1895 and 1896; was chairman of the committee on Federal relations and a member of the committees on public charitable institutions and woman suffrage in 1894; chairman of the committee on harbors and public lands, and a member of the committees on printing and charitable institutions in 1895; chairman of the committee on charitable institutions, and a member of those on harbors and public lands and public service in 1896; House chairman of the committee on public charitable institutions and a member of the committee on street railways in 1897. Mr. Neill was a member of the Fall River Common Council in 1867, alderman in 1878 and 1879, and water commissioner in 1891, 1892 and 1893. He is a member of Mt. Hope Lodge, Fall River Chapter and Council of Masons and of Fall River Lodge No. 219. I. O. O. F., also past commander of Richard Borden Post No. 96, G.A. R. He is a director of the Metacomet Bank. In July, 1863, he married Mary J., daughter of P. D. Conant, and their children are Jessie, wife of Sidney W. Bateman of Newport, R. I.; Jennie L., wife of William N. Emery of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Lena May.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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