John M. Cleary was born
on a farm near Odell, Illinois, August 21, 1869. He was reared
on a farm, and received his early education in the district schools
and in the Odell High School. He later attended the Illinois
State Normal School at Dixon, and then took a literary course at St.
Viateur College in Kankakee,
Deciding upon law as a profession, Mr. Cleary
entered the famous law school at Bloomington, and took his degree in
1893. After a year of practice in Bloomington, he came out to
Kansas City in1894, and has ever since been an interesting figure in
the public and professional life of the town.
A strong Democrat, he quickly allied himself with the local
organization, and in 1898 was elected a representative to the General
Assembly. He made a good record at Jefferson City, and could
have been re-elected had he chosen to make a race. Instead he
resumed the practice of law, and has risen rapidly in his profession.
Mr. Cleary is a member of the Phi Theta
Fraternity, and he also belongs to the Marquette Club and the Order of
Elks. He married Miss Mollie O'Rourke, June 30, 1902.