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Bell Rung As Reminder

May 15, 2024 (0)

BELL RUNG ON YEAR OF 150 B-DAY FOR THE CITY OF O'NEILL - Mayor Scott Menish was one of 15 bell ringers and a small crowd gathered for the May 12 tradition.
1974 REVIVED TRADITION - Mrs. Eugene Brennan and Bonnie Ryan watch as Ron Olberding, Neil Ryan, Rev. Robert Hart and Mary Ellenwood sound roll call for spirits of first settlers following commemoration of the bell.

It was on May 12, 1974 that a forgotten tradition was brought back as the 100 year birthday of O'Neill  was honored. This year May 12, 2024 being the 150th birthday, the tradition was renewed.

In 1974 on May 12, a crew of people including city officials, members of the Presbyterian church and community members involved in the centennial celebration got together for the ringing of the bell. The bell was donated by founding father General Neil Brennan who donated three in the community to be rung every May 12 at 11 a.m. to honor O'Neill's arrival.

The bell, which was donated in 1974 to the centennial celebration, was the one that Brennan had donated to the O'Neill Presbyterian church and set in the Holt County Courthouse lawn. The bell had been rung until the new church was erected and because it was built without a belfry the bell had set in storage.

"The bell is a reminder of the ecumenical relationship in the community at the time of the original donation" said Presbyterian minister Rev. Bob Harte. "The bell is dedicated to the memory of the early pioneers and we ask for the same help and courage that was given to them in their daily lives."

" Mayor John J. Harington, whose ancestors arrived three years after the first settlers said the bell recalls found memories of happenings in the community and expressed a fervent hope that the bell will be here 100 years from the day. 

The time capsule at the base of the bell will be dug up on Sunday, June 2 with the time to be announced.


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