Toy & O’Neil

Toy ONeilA little known and short-lived ale and porter brewery and bottling plant was operated by Daniel Toy and John O’Neil on the southeast corner of Upham and W. Commerce Streets in Smyrna.  Toy was the brother of Thomas, who operated Toy’s Tavern in Henry Clay Village, near the DuPont Powder Mills.

It is not clear when Toy & O’Neil first began brewing beer but the firm started bottling mineral water as early as 1869.  O’Neil left the business after 1872 and Toy ran it alone until 1875, when he returned to his native Wilmington. Toy died in 1877 and is buried at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine.

Though the Smyrna brewery had a very short life, it holds the distinction of being one of only two known Delaware commercial breweries to operate outside of Wilmington from the post-Civil War era until 1995.

For further reading about Daniel Toy and his brewing and bottling business, check out this excellent online biography.