Rose Garden PhotographsPauline Marie (Schindler) O'Neill was born January 13, 1865, in San Francisco, California, the only child of W. F. R. Schindler and Rosalie Young Schindler. Her father, an army officer, was transferred to Fort Whipple, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, about 1884. Pauline was nineteen at the time.

Pauline became involved with the newly formed Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.  She also taught school in the area, probably in Williamson Valley.  She caught the eye of newspaper editor Buckey O'Neill. On April 27, 1886, in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, she married William Owen (Buckey) O'Neill. He was a Yavapai County probate judge, sheriff, tax assessor, ex-officio school superintendent, reporter, editor, publisher, court recorder and mayor of Prescott.

Pauline and Buckey had two children:  Buckey Jr., born January 1, 1887, who died at two weeks of age, and Maurice, adopted on October 15, 1897.

During the 1890s, Pauline became a member of the Yavapai County Board of Examiners, a group charged with administering examinations for teaching certificates.  She also worked in the Women’s Relief Corps in Prescott, providing assistance to women left destitute through the illness or death of their husbands.  Through joining women’s groups and through the temperance movement, she became acquainted with leading politicians in the territory.  She also became active in the woman suffrage movement and honed her political skills by holding leadership positions.

In 1898 Buckey became one of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War.  He recruited men from northern Arizona for six troops.  Tragically, Buckey died on July 1, 1898, at Kettle Hill in the battle of San Juan, Cuba, while serving as regimental captain.

On May 16, 1901, Pauline married Eugene Brady O'Neill (Buckey's brother) in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona Territory.  Brady was a Phoenix based attorney, territorial legislator and a leader in Arizona's Democratic Party. Brady and Pauline made several trips to Washington to champion Arizona statehood. 

Pauline continued to work for woman suffrage and became the president of the Arizona Suffrage Association in 1899.  She and others worked to pass legislation granting women the vote, but these efforts were unsuccessful.  In 1912 Arizona women won the vote through an initiative measure. 

In 1916, she was elected to the Arizona Legislature, the first woman from Maricopa County to win a seat. Serving two terms from 1918 to 1921, she supported many women's and children's issues, including Arizona's ratification of the 19th amendment, a plan to codify the governance of the public schools, and a minimum wage for women.  Pauline also sponsored the bill that allowed the state to purchase the "old" Governor's Mansion in Prescott, thus paving the way for Sharlot Hall's museum ten years later. In addition, her work for the Women's Relief Corps and the American Red Cross made a tangible impact on many families and soldiers suffering post-war hardships, and earned her a commendation from the Red Cross.

Brady had been in poor health for five years and died on July 15, 1917.  Pauline moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1924, staying active in civic and charitable causes. Pauline died on January 12, 1961, in Hollywood, California, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.

Throughout her years in Arizona, Pauline’s leadership in the suffrage movement, the legislature and community groups had a vital impact on Arizona political and cultural affairs.  She was one of the early residents of Arizona Territory who strived to improve citizens’ opportunities and living conditions. 

Donors: Sharlot Hall Museum Staff & Volunteers
Photo Located: Photo Vertical Files – PO-1115pa
Updated: 5/18/2015, N. Freer