The Michael O'Neil Family
(1923 - 1953)
Michael O’Neil (1850-1927) was born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland. As a child he immigrated with his parents to America, settling in New York City for 21 years. He moved to Lancaster, Ohio and then purchased Akron’s Tri-Acres mansion in 1923.
He began his career in the mercantile business, which eventually became the M. O’Neil Company in 1877, Akron’s regional department store. The O'Neil's department store featured large display windows along the front and sides of the massive store where seasonal displays were set up for viewing by the public. These displays were the main feature of downtown Akron during the holiday season. O’Neil’s was acquired by May Company in 1912 for $1 million. The main location of O’Neil’s remained in business as O’Neil’s Department store until 1989, when it became May Company.
In 1915, he set up the General Tire and Rubber Company with his son William. Mr. O’Neil was a leading citizen of Akron, giving time to civic and charitable endeavors. He was married to Patience Maher of Cleveland, Ohio in 1884. They had six children: William, A.F., Thomas F., Cyril, Mary and Mrs. Hugh Garvey.
Michael O’Neil died in 1927. The family donated the mansion to the Mary Knoll Franciscan Monks in 1937.