Edward Cleary

Born: October 25, 1855
Died: February 21, 1918

EDWARD CLEARY, conductor on the Ashland division of the Chicago & North Western railroad, with residence at Antigo, Langlade county, was born in Lancaster, Worcester Co., Mass., October 25, 1855, son of Michael Cleary, who was born in Ireland about the year 1827, son of Edward Cleary, who died in Ireland when Michael was but ten years of age, leaving a widow and six children, viz,: Maurice, Garret, Edward, Patrick, Michael and Ann.

Michael Cleary, father of the subject of this sketch, came to America when twenty years of age, or in 1847, and settled in Massachusetts. Here he was married to Mary Powers, who was born in Ireland in 1830, one of a family of seven children-Catherine, William, Patrick, John, Michael, Edmond and Mary-born to Edward and Margaret (Hayes) Powers, the former of whom was a farmer and fisherman. In 1855 the family came to America and settled in Massachusetts where the father died in 1867; the mother passed away in Appleton, June 11, 1894, aged ninety-eight years. To Michael and Mary (Powers) Cleary were born eight children, viz,: Maurice (who died in 1879 at the age of eighteen), Edward, Michael, Ellen, Katherine and Margaret, and two deceased in infancy. Michael Cleary, the father, came to Wisconsin, in 1863, first locating in Appleton, from which place he moved soon after to a farm and returned to Appleton where, in March, 1895, he died. Mrs. Ellen Cleary, widow of Edward Cleary and mother of Michael, followed her sons to America, and died at Michael's home in 1878.

Edward Cleary, the subject proper of this sketch, was given the advantages of the common schools, and remained at home on the farm with his parents until he was nineteen years of age. He then went into the lumber woods, and worked there during the winters of four years, returning home in the summers to assist his father on the farm. In June, 1878, he was engaged on the right of way of the new railroad, chopping ties, and in the following December commenced braking on what was then the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western railroad, now the Ashland division of the Chicago & North Western. He has railroad ever since, being one of the oldest men on this division, and has been promoted from time to time until in 1884 he was given a passenger run. In 1886 he took up his residence in Antigo, and having great faith in the prospects of the town, has done everything in his power to help in building it up; in 1891 he erected a fine block, and moreover is interested in several other blocks here. He is president of the J. C. Lewis Hardware Co., and has dealt extensively in outside lands.

Mr. Cleary was married, in 1882, to Miss Margaret Morrissey, of Appleton, daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Landers) Morrissey, United States, Making their first New-World home in Massachusetts where they were married. They had a family of eight children: Patrick, John, Thomas, Catherine, Ellen, Margaret, Johannah and Mary Ann, three of whom are deceased, viz.: Patrick, Catherine and Mary Ann. Patrick was ordained a Catholic priest in 1875, and died at St. Louis, Mo., May 10, 1892; John, who was ordained a priest in 1883, is now pastor of a congregation at Oshkosh; Thomas is married and lives in Antigo, Wis., where he is manager of the Delaglise estate; Ellen is a Sister of Charity at St. Agnes Convent, Fond du Lac, Wis. The family came to this State in 1850, where the father followed agricultural in pursuits; the mother died in March, 1885. To Mr. and Mrs. Cleary have been born five children: John E., Agnes M., Raymond W., Emmet V., and Aloysius F.

In his political predilections our subject is a Republican, and has served his adopted city as supervisor one year, and alderman two years. Socially, he is a member of the Order of Railroad Conductors of America; was a delegate to Toledo, Ohio, in May, 1893, and a delegate to Atlanta, Ga., in 1895, from the lodge at Ashland, Wis.; he was first chief conductor of the lodge at Ashland in 1889, and elected twice afterward, serving in that incumbency three years in all. In religious faith the entire family are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Cleary owns one of the handsomest homes in the city of Antigo, and figures as one of the representative men of the place. Being public-spirited be all who know him, the more so because he is known to have commenced at the bottom of the ladder, and attentiveness to business, worked himself up to a position of prominence and affluence. He is justly proud of the fact that, though he has been a railroad man nearly all of his life, he is not unfitted for other lines of usefulness, and he is counted one of the practical business men of Antigo.

Pg. 182 Upper Wisconsin Commemorative Biographical Record