"Nebraska's Irish Capital"

City of O'Neill


May, 1889 through April, 1891
John McBride
May, 1891 through April, 1893
O.F. Biglin
May, 1893 through April, 1895
R.R. Dickson
May, 1895 through April, 1896
O.F. Biglin
May, 1896 through April 1897
H.E. Murphy
May, 1897 through April 1898
B.S. Gillespie
May, 1898 through April, 1899
C.L. Davis
May, 1899 through April, 1900
John A. Harmon
May, 1900 through April, 1903
Ed F. Gallagher
May, 1903 through April, 1905
J.S. Harrington
May, 1905 through April, 1906
D.A. Doyle
May, 1906 through April, 1909
Ed F. Gallagher
May, 1909 through April, 1914
O.F. Biglin
May, 1914 through April, 1915
T.V. Golden
May, 1915 through April, 1917
F.J. Dishner
May , 1917 through October, 1918
Edward H. Whelan
Nov., 1918 through April, 1919
P.D. Mullen
May, 1919 through April, 1920
Clyde King
May, 1920 through April, 1922
C.M. Daly
May, 1922 through April, 1926
J.P. Gilligan
May, 1926 through April, 1934
C.E. Stout
May, 1934 through April, 1938
John Kersenbrock
May, 1938 through April, 1940
H.E. Coyne
May, 1940 through April, 1946
John Kersenbrock
May, 1946 through April, 1948
F.J. Dishner
May, 1948 through April, 1950
H.E. Coyne
May, 1950 through May, 1954
J.E. Davis (Resigned)
June, 1954 through April, 1955
Emmet Crabb (Acting Mayor)
May, 1955 through April 1956
A. Marcellus
May, 1956 through April, 1964
D.C. Schaffer
May, 1964 through April, 1965
E. M. Gleeson (Acting Mayor)
May, 1965 through April 1968
E.M. Gleeson
May, 1968 through 1974
John J. Harrington
1974 - 1978
Randall Fitch
1978 - 1984
E.M. Gleeson
1984 - 1984
Wm. S. Mattern (Acting Mayor)
1984 - 1990
Lois Schaffer
1990 - 1994
Dennis Shannahan
1994 - 1995
Art Tibbetts
1995 - 1996
Betty Boyle (Acting Mayor)
1996 - 1998
Jack Hollenbeck
1998 - 1998
Wm. Price (Acting Mayor)

1998 - 2018

Wm. Price
2018-PresentScott Menish

O'Neill, county seat of Holt County, was founded by General John O'Neill, a native of Ireland and veteran of the American Civil War. The "general," a rank bestowed on him by admirers because he commanded three Fenian incursions into British-governed Canada, first directed colonists in 1874 to this fertile Elkhorn Valley site which bears his name. General O'Neill also induced other Irish groups to settle at Atkinson in Holt County and in Greeley County.

Many Irish coming to O'Neill had emigrated to America earlier, as result of famine and economic distress, temporarily settling in eastern cities. General O'Neill, knowing the agricultural heritage of his people, said his object in founding Nebraska colonies was "to encourage poor people in getting away from the overcrowded cities of the East."

The Irish were a major immigrant group contributing to the settlement of Nebraska. Speaking the English language, they blended into the population and were found in many communities. However, due to ancient animosities with Britain, some of them colonized in America. Foremost colony in this state is O'Neill, proclaimed the Irish Capital of Nebraska by the Governor in 1969.

History of O'Neill, Nebraska