Edward Cleary

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

EDWARD CLEARY. The late Edward Cleary was one of the prominent pioneer railroad and business men of Langlade County. He was born in Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts, October 25, 1855, the son of Michael Cleary, a native of Ireland. In 1863 he moved with his parents to Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin. from which place they moved on a farm, and then returned to Appleton. Until nineteen years of age the subject of this biography assisted his father on their farm. During the next four winters he worked in the lumber camps of Northern Wisconsin. In June, 1878, he secured employment as one of the workers on the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western, then piercing the northern part of Wisconsin. The following December he started as a brakeman on the M, L. S. & W. Ry., and for many years after was one of the most efficient conductors on the Ashland Division. He was granted his first passenger run in 1884. Two years later he took up his residence in Antigo and from that time until his death he labored faithfully in the promotion of everything he considered essential to the welfare of Antigo. He erected the Cleary Building in 1891 and became financially interested in numerous commercial undertakings, viz: President of the J. C. Lewis Hardware Company and an officer of the old Antigo Telephone Company. He devoted much of his energies toward helping the fortunes of the county and the success of many enterprises are directly due to his activity. Mr. Cleary was united in marriage in 1882 to Miss Margaret Morrissey, of Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Landers) Morrissey, natives of Ireland. To this union seven children were born, namely: John E., a resident of Chicago, Ill.; Agnes M., now Mrs. Charles E, Cody of Antigo, Wis.; Raymond W., of Chicago, Ill.; Emmet V., of Antigo, Wis.; Aloysius F., deceased, who is buried in the Antigo Catholic cemetery; Marquette, of Antigo, Wis, and Eugene, also of Antigo. Wis.

Politically Mr. Cleary was a Republican. He was for several years a member of the City Council as a Supervisor and Alderman, and served on the Board of Education of Antigo for many years.

Fraternally he was affiliated with the Order of Railway Conductors, a charter member of Antigo Lodge No. 662, B. P. O. E. and also a charter member of Antigo Council No. 1002, K. of C., and of the Catholic Order of Foresters. In religious faith the entire family are members of the Catholic church. With the death of Mr. Cleary on February 21, 1918, Antigo lost from its citizenship a man who had taken a keen interest in all matters pertaining to the community and as a consequence a good and public spirited citizen. When he was selected as Postmaster of Antigo on July 21, 1901, he had made no solicitation for the appointment which came to him as a surprise. He was postmaster from that time until July 30, 1910. Mr. Cleary's life should be an inspiration to any young man who, handicapped in youth because of meager worldly possessions, strives to succeed.

Source: p. 348 History of Langlade County Wisconsin Dessureau. Berner Bros. Publishing CO. 1922.