Keeper Bio: O’Neill, Esther

Esther O’Neill – Photo Courtesy Carol Allen, Friends of the Concord Point Lighthouse

Date of Service: 1863 – 1881

1797: Born in Fulton County, New York.

1830s: Marries John O’Neill, Jr. The couple have seven children, one of whom died as an infant. The remaining six children are Martha, Mary, Virginia, Charles Zelotes, Indiana, and Henry.

1861: Esther’s husband, John O’Neill, Jr. is appointed Keeper at Concord Point Lighthouse, MD.

1863: Esther’s husband, John O’Neill Jr. passes away while on duty as Keeper on April 16. Esther O’Neill is appointed Keeper at Concord Point Lighthouse, MD on the same day of his death. Her beginning salary was $350/year.

1864: On May 8, at the Laurel Hill, Spotsylvania Courthouse Virginia, her son, Capt. Charles Z. O’Neill of the 4th Maryland is killed in battle.

1864: In July, the Union Army sends 100 convalescent and veteran reservists to Havre de Grace to guard the ferry and railroad.

1881: Resigns as Head Keeper at Concord PointLighthouse, MD due to bad eyesight on April 21. Her ending salary was $520/year.

1883: Passes away on April 9 and is buried in Angel Hill Cemetery.

Source: Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse, Concord Point Lighthouse Study, Sandra MacLean Clunies Research, 1997-2003, updated 2018

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