JOHN H. CLARY. Menard county figures as one of the most attractive, progressive and prosperous divisions of the state of Illinois, justly claiming a high order of citizenship and a spirit of enterprise which is certain to conserve consecutive development and marked advancement in the material upbuilding of the section. The county has been and is signally favored in the class of men who have controlled its affairs in official capacity, and in this connection the subject of this review demands representation as one who has served the county faithfully and well in positions of distinct trust and responsibility. He is now serving as county treasurer and as an official as well as private citizen he enjoys the esteem and confidence of his fellow men.
Mr. Clary was born in township 19, range 7, Menard county, three miles northwest of Petersburg, September 15, 1855. His father, Hugh clary, whose birth occurred about two and three-quarter miles northwest of Petersburg in the year 1831, is a representative of one of the old and prominent pioneer families of this part of the state. The grandfather, John Clary, settled in the grove which was named in his honor, Clary's Grove, in 1819, and took an active and helpful part in laying the foundation for the present upbuilding and progress of Menard county. He aided in reclaiming the district for the uses of civilization and for many years was actively identified with agricultural interests here. Hugh Clary was reared amid the wild scenes and environments of pioneer life and after arriving at years of maturity he established his home in township 19, range 7. There he resided for a number of years, actively engaged in the tilling of the soil and in his business career he was ever found reliable and trustworthy. He was a man whom to know was to respect and honor, because of his fidelity to manly and upright principles. He married Miss Louisa Traylor, also a native of Menard county, and he died at the home of his son, J. H. Clary, in the year 1896, while his wife is still living with her children. There were nine children in their family.
J. H. Clary, the second of the family, was educated in the district schools and no event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for him in his boyhood and youth. He worked in the fields when not engaged with the duties of the schoolroom and in 1881 he began farming on his own account, locating four and a half miles northwest of Petersburg, where he remained for a few years. He then sold that property and bought another farm, of which he retained possession for some time, but at length he disposed of that and spent one year in Iowa. In 1888 he returned to Menard county and purchased his present farm of one hundred and twenty-two and a half acres, which is situated about three and a half miles northwest of Petersburg on section 34, township 19, range 7. There he has since conducted agricultural interests with good success and his land is valuable and productive, annually yielding to him good harvests in return for the careful supervision which he gives to the farm work.
On the 2d of March, 1881, Mr. Clary was married to Miss Catherine S. Rutledge, a native of Menard county and a daughter of J. M. Rutledge. Mr. and Mrs. Clary have become the parents of two children: Alberta A., now deceased; and Edith E. The parents hold membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian church and Mr. Clary gives his political allegiance to the Democratic party. He has served for two terms as district clerk and in 1902 he was elected to the office of county treasurer, which position he is now capably filling. His business career has been marked by steady progression and characterized by the success which always follows persistent labor and yet he has found time to devote to the general good, being recognized as a public-spirited citizen.