Biography of the Very Rev. Hugh McCrea O'Neil
Cambria County, PA Biographies

Very Rev. Hugh McCrea O'Neil, rector of Holy Name Catholic Church, Ebensburg, is one of the prominent and influential citizens of Cambria County. He was born at Coilsville, Butler County, Pa., March 17, 1873, and is the son of William A. and Mary A. O'Neil.

Both William A. and Mary A. O'Neil are deceased. They were natives of Armstrong County, Pa., where they spent practically their entire lives. They are buried in St. John's Cemetery, Coilsville, Pa. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil: D. J., general superintendent of the South Penn Oil Company, Parkersburg, W. Va.; Joseph M., lives at Coilsville, Pa.; J. W., superintendent of the Gas and Water Department of the South Penn Oil Company, Manning, W. Va.; Mary, who is Sister Mary Herberta, St. Elizabeth's Convent, Baltimore, Md.; and Rev. Hugh McCrea, the subject of this sketch.

Rev. Hugh McCrea O'Neil spent his boyhood on his father's farm and received his early education in the public schools of Coilsville. He was graduated from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and studied philosophy and theology at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Ed. He was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons, late archbishop of Baltimore, in the Cathedral at Baltimore, June 21, 1899.

Father O'Neil was appointed to the diocese of Pittsburgh and served as assistant priest to Rev. Daniel Walsh, of St. Paul's Catholic Church, Butler County. On Aug. 1, 1901, he was transferred to St. Columbus Church at Johnstown, and later to St. Patrick's Church at Spangler, in Cambria County, as its first pastor. In March, 1903, he was appointed first pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Conemaugh, and in February, 1906, came to Ebensburg as pastor of Holy Name Church. Since his appointment Father O'Neil has redecorated and refurnished the church at a cost of $11,000. He has also erected a parochial school, which was completed in September, 1910, and which has an enrollment of over 200 pupils in charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Father O'Neil was appointed dean of Cambria County in July, 1924. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, Ebensburg, and the Kiwanis Club.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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