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Charles O'Neil Family

Charles O'Neil FamilyForestry Pioneer

Charles O’Neil came to the Flathead Valley in the late 1890’s.  He purchased timberland and had interest in several sawmills and lumber mills.  He also wrote several articles and books about his experiences. Charles was the manager of DuBach Lumber Company in Monarch MT, as well as the manager of the retail yard of the Butte & Montana Commercial Company. In 1896 he purchased the lumber yard and changed the name to O’Neil Lumber Company with co-owners James Byrne & brother Clinton O’Neil. He was president of the Northwestern Lumber Company, and also organized the Northern Montana Forestry Association. In the mid 1940’s, Charles founded the Forest Products Company with his family as shareholders.  His sons Larry, Chuck, (and John, killed in action in Italy, 1944) continued the sawmill and timberland business.

Chuck and his brother Larry ran the sawmill and continued to acquire lands that became available, eventually buying out the shares of the other family members.

In the mid 1960’s, the two brothers purchased the Kal-Mont Lumber Co. and ran it as a sister mill to Forest Products Co. The mills continued to run until the death of Larry after which they were closed in 1981. The timberlands were divided between the two families. In 1982 Chuck and his wife Wynona, and their four children formed Montana Forest Products, which today still owns approximately 6,000 acres of forested land in Northwest Montana.

The four children of Chuck and Wynona have continued to sustainably harvest their lands and have a long-term commitment to continuing the family business. They have gifted units in the partnership to all their children and grandchildren over the years and have sought professional forestry advice from Ron Buentemeier, the retired general manager of FH Stoltze Land and Lumber Co.

The O’Neil Family Tree Farm is one of the earliest Tree Farm members in the national system and has been under the Montana Tree Farm Program since 1944. The Charles O’Neil family intends to continue to manage their lands for wildlife habitat, improved water quality, aesthetic areas, and family revenue.


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