Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Richard O'Neill

Richard Jerome O’Neill died Friday of natural causes at age 85. Marty Wisckol at O.C. Buzz has a whole list of links to information about the "former head of the Rancho Mission Viejo land company and bigtime Democratic activist."
All the photos in today's post were taken at the dedication of O'Neill Park on June 18th, 1950. The O'Neills donated many acres of their ranch to the creation of this County park. The photo above shows Richard O'Neill (center) with his mother, Marguerite "Daisy" Moore O'Neill; his sister, Alice O'Neill (Moiso) Avery; and young Tony and Jerome.
In addition to being a major landowner, Richard O'Neill also owned the El Adobe restaurant and was a key supporter of historical preservation in the San Juan Capistrano area.
I wish I could see who was sitting at the head table at this dedication day picnic, but the image resolution isn't that good -- even in the original negative.
Wisckol writes, "O'Neill was the grandson of Richard O'Neill, the founder of Rancho Mission Viejo. In 1882, the family owned, in partnership with other families, 200,000 acres in south Orange County. About two-thirds of the land became Camp Pendleton in 1942. The cities of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and the communities of Las Flores and Ladera Ranch later were developed on their ranch lands."


Captain said...

Anyone see the connection to some major South County street names in that family photo?

I see Marguerite Pkwy, Alicia Pkwy and Avery Pkwy.

Chris Jepsen said...

An excellent point! Also, Jeronimo Rd.