JOHN P. O'NEILL (1890-1892)As part of #KCParks125, we are featuring all 104 Park Board Commissioners in order of their service.John Patrick O’Neill (1860-1922) was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and moved to Kansas City in 1880 with his father, step-mother and sister. His family was befriended by James Pendergast, owner of a saloon and small hotel in the West Bottoms, who was a leader of the Democratic political organization in Kansas City and later became a City Alderman. “Big Jim” gained support among the “working class” citizens by helping people find jobs and providing food and coal for heat to the needy. J.P. O’Neill became very involved in Democratic politics. He was appointed as a Park Commissioner for the newly formed Kansas City Park Commission in April 1890 by Mayor Nehemiah Holmes, at the same time as George Barse, who represented a Republican connection.After the 1890 Park Board was dissolved, Mr. O’Neill became Sheriff for several years, then Alderman in Kansas City. He continued strong involvement with Democratic Party and became an advisor to Jim Pendergast’s younger brother Tom, who was also involved in political issues.Mr. O’Neill died in 1922. His great-grandson Pat O’Neill is President of the City of Fountains Foundation at this time. #KCParks | KC Parks Instagram Photos

JOHN P. O'NEILL (1890-1892)As part of #KCParks125, we are featuring all 104 Park Board Commissioners in order of their service.John Patrick O’Neill (1860-1922) was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and moved to Kansas City in 1880 with his father, step-mother and sister. His family was befriended by James Pendergast, owner of a saloon and small hotel in the West Bottoms, who was a leader of the Democratic political organization in Kansas City and later became a City Alderman. “Big Jim” gained support among the “working class” citizens by helping people find jobs and providing food and coal for heat to the needy. J.P. O’Neill became very involved in Democratic politics. He was appointed as a Park Commissioner for the newly formed Kansas City Park Commission in April 1890 by Mayor Nehemiah Holmes, at the same time as George Barse, who represented a Republican connection.After the 1890 Park Board was dissolved, Mr. O’Neill became Sheriff for several years, then Alderman in Kansas City. He continued strong involvement with Democratic Party and became an advisor to Jim Pendergast’s younger brother Tom, who was also involved in political issues.Mr. O’Neill died in 1922. His great-grandson Pat O’Neill is President of the City of Fountains Foundation at this time. #KCParks

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