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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: M96- 5
Creator: O'Neal, William Russell, 1864-1946
Title, Dates: Papers, 1887-1921.
Amount: 12.50 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by record type.
Terms Governing Use: Because of the fragile condition of the volumes, no photocopying will be done.
Biographical/Historical:     William Russell O'Neal was born in Belpre, Ohio in 1864 and emigrated to Orlando in 1885.  O'Neal was a partner in the firm Curtis and O'Neal (nee Fletcher, Curtis and O'Neal).  This firm's business activities included book selling, insurance, real estate, and finance. O'Neal was involved in many educational, fraternal, political, and civic endeavors during his life.
    He was an agent for several insurance companies and wrote fire insurance policies on property throughout the city of Orlando and Orange county.  His firm bought and sold real estate as well as acting as agent for absentee landlords. Selling tickets for railroads and shipping concerns were also part of the firm's activities.  O'Neal sat on the board of several local banksand savings and loan institutions and was a member of the Board of the Knights of Pythias Insurance Department.
    For many years O'Neal was a Trustee of, and the Secretary/ Treasurer for, the Board of Trustees of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.  He reached the highest ranks of the Masonic fraternities as well as the Knights of Pythias.
    As a politician he was a Republican candidate for Congress and Governor of Florida.  He was Postmaster of Orlando from 1898 to 1914.  Other public and civic duties fulfilled by him include: superintendent of the public schools in Orlando; several terms as president of the Board of Trade; and service as an Aldermen.
Summary:     This collection contains the business papers of William R. O'Neal.  It consists of letterbooks and ledgers that document O'Neal's outgoing correspondence and contain information about the multifaceted business of his firm Curtis and O'Neal (nee Fletcher, Curtis and O'Neal).
    The letterbooks contain correspondence dealing with the insurance, railroad and real estate aspects of O'Neal's endeavors. There are letters that touch upon his relationship with Rollins College of Winter Park, Florida and his activities as a municipal official and postmaster of Orlando. Information upon O'Neal's Republican politics and many fraternal activities is included.
    There are ledgers that contain copies of the many insurance policies that the firm sold.  Similar ledgers outline the railroad and shipping activities the firm carried out for many years.  These are mostly records of tickets sold.
    Gaps exist in the dates among the various volumes that deal with O'Neal's activities.  While the majority of entries made after 1890 were done with a type writing machine thereare many entries hand written in ink that have become illegible and much of the typed material has also faded into illegibility.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Insurance Florida
Real estate business Florida
Railroads Florida
Fraternal organizations.
Orlando (Fla.)
Orange County (Fla.)
Winter Park (Fla.)
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