ROBERT JAMES McCLEARY, justice of the peace at Connorville, O., and owner of 150 acres of farm land, on which he resides, in Warren Township, Jefferson County, was born December 19, 1856, at Warrenton, this county, and is a son of Joseph C. McCleary.
Robert McCleary, grandfather of our subject, was of Scotch-Irish descent and one of the pioneer settlers of Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. He was a farmer and was one of the first justices of Ohio as well as of Warren Township. He was survived many years by his widow, who later in life removed from the old home place to Rayland, where she spent her declining years.
Joseph C. McCleary was born in 1812, in Warren Township, Jefferson County, and was the youngest of a numerous family of children, the larger number of whom went west to live. His brother, George McCleary, settled in Iowa and became Secretary of State. Joseph McCleary grew to manhood here, learned brick laying with a Mr. Miller of Mt. Pleasant, and afterward visited the principal cities of the United States and Canada. When he returned to Jefferson County he embarked in business with William Smith, who was one of the pionerrs of Warren Township. Mr. Smith was the owner of 640 acres of land which he entered from the Government, and he operated a grist mill and distillery, and he and Joseph McCleary conveyed their produce down the Ohio River by flatboat, making several trips to New Orleans. Mr. McCleary was subsequently admitted to the bar and followed the profession of law for some years. About the time of President Lincoln's administration he was elected a state senator, and was later appointed revenue collectoe, with offices at Steubenville, O. In 1869 he located on the Smith farm of 350 acres, which he purchased and cultivated for twelve years, then erected a residence at Rayland, O., where he died at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. McCleary was married three times, his first and second wives having been sisters, and daughters of William Smith. His third union was with Isabella Grey, of Belmont County, Ohio.
Robert J. McCleary was quite young when his father located on the farm in Warren Township, and at the age of fourteen went to St. Louis, Mo., where he attended school for four years. He then returned to the farm, attneded the Hopedale school for four years and Mt. Union College for the same length of time. After completing his education he taught the school of his home district one year on a steam-boat between Wheeling and Parkersburgh, West Va. He then took entire charge of his father's farm, and after his marriage bought out his father's heirs and has since followed general farming on the home place. Mr. McCleary furnishes the mines of this locality with considerable lumber from his farm, and is interested in real estate, owning several dwellings which he rents. He opened up and built the first houses at Connorville, of which village he was the first postmaster. Mr. McCleary is now serving his third term as justice of the peace and has his offices at Connorville, he has also served as township trustee, and for some years has been a member of the board of education. He belongs to the Jr. O. U. A. M., K. of P., I. O. O. F., B. P. O. E. and the Masons.
In December, 1886, Mr. McCleary married Emma L. Cummins,a daughter of George M. Cummins, deceased, of Steubenville, O., and they have one son, Fred E., who is a graduate of the Ohio State University, and is chemist for the Chicago, Rock Island R. R. at Chicago. He married Anna Williams, of Newton Falls, in 1908, and they have one son, Robin C.