Ione O’Neill, aged 17 years

These gorgeous photos young Ione O’Neil are from 1913 on the occasion of her high school graduation at the age of 17. Lefflen photographers (whose logo is embossed on the frames) were located in Fort Worth, Texas. These pictures were found in a small shop in Kerrville, Texas.  The inscription on the back reads: “Ione O’Neill at her graduation from high school.” And the other reads: “Ione O’Neill age 17 years. 1913.

She was the daughter of John O’Neill and Ella Hampton. Born in April of 1896, Ione appeared to be her parents oldest child. My quick research identified 6 siblings younger than Ione. Ione’s father, John, was a locomotive engineer. The family lived in and around Fort Worth while she was growing up.

A few years after these photos were taken, Ione married Jospeh C. Neel. I don’t have the exact year they married, but it was likely 1915 or 1916 because Ione gave birth to her son Joseph C. Neel Jr. in March of 1917. Joseph Jr. appears to be her only child. He became a doctor and lived until 2012. He was preceded in death by his wife Gertrude by only a few months. She was originally from Austria. They were married for over 60 years.

In 1920, Ione, Joseph and little Joseph lived in Dallas, Texas. Her husband, whose parents were listed as being English, worked as a Manager in a Phonograph Co. By 1930, the couple had moved to Fort Worth where Mr. Neel worked in the office of a furniture company. They family continues in Fort Worth in 1940 and son J. C., aged 23 is still living with them.

The obituary of Ione’s son, Dr. J. C. Neel, gives a little background on his mother: “J. C. graduated from old Central High School in Fort Worth and following in his mother’s footsteps, initially studied music in college.” On her gravestone Ione is listed as a violinist and J. C. played that same instrument.

Ione died in 1975, 27 years after her husband who passed away in 1948. She and many of her family members, including her husband, son, and parents, are buried in Greenwood Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Fort Worth, Texas.

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