Francis O'Neill left Ireland in 1865. After five years travelling the world as a sailor, he and his family settled in Chicago just before the Great Fire of 1871. As O'Neill looked back on his life, he could give first-hand accounts of the Pullman strike of 1894, the railway strike of 1903 and the packinghouse strike of 1904. Fighting corruption and prejudice, O'Neill rose to be chief of police. In addition to his professional success, O'Neill is also remembered and loved for his hobby, preserving traditional Irish music.