James McCleery, Supervisor of Clinton Township, residing and farming on section 34, is a son of James and Jane (Thompson) McCleery, natives of New York and Scotland respectively. They were married and settled in Canada, and eight years later moved to Wayne Co., Ohio. From Ohio they came to this county in 1851, and settled in Somonauk Township, and afterward removed to Victor Township, where, May 29, 1859, his mother died. His father then removed to Washington Co., Iowa, where he is at present residing, at the advanced age of 81 years. Nine children constituted the issue of their marriage. Six survive, namely, John, James, Mary A., Margaret, Elizabeth, and William D. The deceased are Hugh, Robert and Jane C.
James McCleery, Jr., was born in Canada, near Gault, Waterloo County, June 18, 1835. He was seven years of age when his parents moved to Ohio, and remained on his father’s farm, assisting in its cultivation and attending the common schools until he attained the age of 22 years. Arriving at that age, he set out to fight life’s battles along. He at first engaged in farming, which vocation he followed in Ohio until 1851, when he came to this county.
In 1855, Mr. McCleery came into possession of 120 acres of land situated in Victor Township. He at once settled on his land and lived thereon for two years, when he traded it for 187 acres in Clinton Township. He moved on the latter farm in 1861, and is still a resident thereon. He is at present the owner of 292 acres of land, all situated in DeKalb County, and of the entire amount 220 acres are under a good state of cultivation.
Mr. McCleery was united in marriage to Margaret Graham, in Victor Township, Feb. 1, 18858. She is a daughter of Robert and Sarah (Williamson) Graham, natives of Washington Co., N.Y. They came to this county in 1850 and lived for one year in Somonauk Township, then removed to Victor Township, where they are present reside. They are the parents of six children, five of whom survive, namely, Margaret, Mary A., Andrew, Russell and James. One died in infancy.
Margaret McCleery, wife of the subject of this biographical notice, was born in Washington Co., N.Y., June 15, 1837. She remained an inmate of her father’s family, assisting in the household duties and attending the common schools until her marriage.
Mr. McCleery was appointed Supervisor of Clinton Township in the spring of 1883, and in the spring of 1884 was elected to the office, and now holds the same. He has also held other minor offices in his township. Politically, he is a Republican. Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. McCleery are member of the Presbyterian Church.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb Co.