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St. Clair County , Michigan , Its History and Its People
A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress and Its Principal Interests

Author: Jenks, William Lee, 1856-1936.

Pages 790,791

Miss ALICE O'LEARY.

 

One of the venerable and much beloved ladies of Port Huron , Michigan , is Miss Alice O'Leary, the last surviving member of an old and honored Michigan family, which contributed greatly to the development of this part of the country, and members of which were found prominently identified with business, public and religious activities for many years. Miss O'Leary, who is now spending her declining years in peace and comfort in her beautiful home at No. 715 Park Street , was born in Prince Edward County, Canada, April 17, 1829 , a daughter of Miles and Margaret (Boden) O'Leary, both born in Ireland . They came to Canada in 1818, where Miles O'Leary was engaged in farming, and later moved to Greenfield , Michigan , where he continued to carry on agricultural pursuits until his death at the age of eighty-two years. He was a stanch Democrat in political matters, and he and his wife were devoted members of the Catholic Church, in the faith of which they died. Of their thirteen children, Miss O'Leary is the only survivor. Her sister, Miss Eliza O'Leary, lived with her until her death, in 1908, and she was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery . Charles O'Leary, a brother, lived in Port Huron some years ago, after he had retired from agricultural pursuits, and his widow still makes her home in this city. In 1891 Miss O'Leary came to Port Huron to live, purchasing the elegant home at 715 Park Street , and she has become one of the best known ladies in the city. Although Miss O'Leary is advanced in years and somewhat of an invalid, she is of a bright, cheerful disposition, and bears all of her afflictions with uncomplaining fortitude, responding to the faithful and tender ministrations of her beloved companion with loving gratitude, while her thoughts are of others rather than of herself. She has always been of a liberal and generous nature, and the numerous works of charity done by her have endeared her to those who have felt the pinch of want. Miss O'Leary is fortunate in having as a companion so estimable a lady as Miss Mary Ellen Cleary, who has been her constant companion and valued friend for the past thirteen years. Miss Cleary was born in Michigan, October 16, 1869, a daughter of Dennis and Margaret J. (Flanagan) Cleary, the latter born December 13, 1847, in New York City, and now deceased, and the former born March 25. 1829, in Ireland and now living on the old family homestead in Sanilac County , Michigan . Her parents had the following children: Mary Ellen; Michael E., living in Sanilac County ; Beatrice and Mary; James. living in the Upper Peninsula , has three sons, Francis, James and  Dennis; Rose a housekeeper for her aged father; Bernard, living in Duluth . Has one child, Margaret; and Mathew, living in Mohawk, Upper Peninsula , has one child, Dennis. A railroad man of Moss City . Mr. Cleary is a veteran of the Civil war, having served during nearly all of that struggle and is a popular comrade of the G. A. R. He is a Republican in his political views, but has never cared for public office. Miss Cleary was educated in the public schools of Sanilac County , and for two years was engaged in school teaching there. She believes in the value of life insurance and holds a policy in the Metropolitan Insurance Company. The Misses O'Leary and Cleary are prominently known in church circles, attending the Catholic Church, and have been active in the work and liberal in the support of this denomination.

Submitted by: Joanne Weimer [joanneweimer"at"yahoo.com]