O’Neals is located on Road 211 on Willow Creek in the foothills between Madera and North Fork at 1309 feet elevation. The small population consists of cattle ranchers and gentlemen farmers who prefer larger parcels than the 2 acre homesites found in other areas of the county. The town got its name when Charles O’Neal bought the local store in 1878 and ran a small hotel plus blacksmith shop on the Old Yosemite Road.
The founding of O’Neals story is the story of the central San Joaquin Valley and the determined pioneers who tamed the rough and tumble territory in the late 1800’s. The town got its name when Charles O’Neal bought the local store in 1878 and ran a small hotel plus blacksmith shop on the Old Yosemite Road. He was also the postmaster. Scratching out a living in the rural foothills near O’Neals took a great deal of grit and hard work.
Today cattle ranching is the mainstay of the local economy. Herds of cattle can be seen grazing on many ranches and range land around O’Neals.
O’Neals Area Schools
The State Center Community College District operates the Oakhurst Center which offers a wide variety of courses including vocational and traditional degree programs.
The central valley city of Fresno is the home to California State University, Fresno. Fresno State, as the locals call it, is known for its strong academic programs and for its ardent sports fans. Fresno state is the home of the Bulldogs.