George W. McCleary


GEORGE W. McCLEARY, a leading business man of WHeeling, and prominent in municipal affairs, was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, December 16, 1849. His father, Joseph C. McCleary is now a resident of Portland, Ohio, and attained his seventy-eighth year February 14, 1890. The latter learned the trade of a bricklayer in youth, and laid brick from Montreal to New Orleans and subsequently became a lawyer and attained considerable prominence as an upright and able public man. He held the office of state senator in 1857 and under the administration of President Lincoln, was United States assessor for the Seventeenth district of Ohio, discharging all trusts confided to him conscientiously and faithfully and with a high degree of satisfaction to the public. He and his wife whose maiden name was Isabella R. Gray, were both born in Ohio. The latter a devoted member of Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, Presbyterian church, died February 11, 1888, aged sisty-six years. Three sons and one daughter were born to these parents. George W. McCleary left home at the age of twenty-two years, and going west, arrived in St. Louis in February 1872 and there purchased a morning route on the St. Louis Globe-Democrat which he held for two years in the meantime studying law. Having completed his preparation he was admitted to the St. Louis bar in June 1874 and he practiced there for three years, with satisfactory results, until his health compelled him to return to his old home. He was admitted subsequently to practice in the state courts and the federal courts at Cleveland, and he remained in the profession until 1880, when he embarked in business at Portland, Ohio, where he continued until the spring of 1883. His residence at Wellsburg began April 2, 1883 and he has since conducted here a successful business as a furniture dealer and undertaker. Mr. McCleary had been in Wellsburg but one day more than necessary to acquire citizenship when on April 3, 1884 he was elected mayor of the city by the largest majority ever given for that office. After holding one year, he declined re-election but at the next election was chosen for another term. During his service he was instrumental in dividing the city into wards and in laying the foundation for the street paving, which is the best for the size of the city in West Virginia. He was also responsible in a large degree for introducing into the charter the prohibition of gambling houses. Altogether, his service to the city in this capacity was of such character as to win for him the hearty congratulation of all good and enterprising citizens. In politics he is active as a republican; fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias. Mr. McCleary married in September 1873 to Effie, daughter of Col. G. W. Mitchell, deceased and to this union four children have been born, Joseph L., Edna B., James P., and Guy M., the latter decesed. Mr. McCleary and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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