LEEKLEY, JOHN M. one of the younger members of the legal fraternity in Galena, in entering upon the practice of his profession settled among the friends of his boyhood and youth, who are watching his career with kindly interest, and predict that it will be one more than ordinarily honorable and successful. He opened an office in1881, having been admitted to the bar on the 16th of June that year, passing a fine examination before the Supreme Court. He was graduated from the Union Law College of Chicago, after which he entered at once upon the practice of his profession, and two years later, in June,1883, became the partner of James S. Baume, who was then, as he is now, Master in Chancery. Our subject was born in the city of Galena March 30,1859, but thirty years ago there was little to indicate its future importance. His father, Thomas B. Leekley, was an old settler of this county, and for years one of its most active and prominent business men, being one of the largest lead smelters in this region . He came to Illinois as early as 1832, and operated as a practical miner, understanding fully the best methods of obtaining the ore from its original beds. To this he devoted the most of his time and attention until his death, which occured Nov. 10, 1883, at the age of seventy-four years. The father of our subject was a strong, active, and intelligent gentleman, and retained his mental faculties, as well as his physical strength, in a marked degree. In addition to the mining industry he was also associated for some time with the Galena Woolen Mills, officiating as President of the company. In religious matters he was a strong adherent of the Presbyterian Church, giving liberally to its support. Politically, he was a sound Republican. He inherited the best qualities of his substantial English ancestry, and was himself of english birth and parentage, the County of Durham being the place of his nativity. He had emigrated to America when a youth of nineteen years, earning the money with which to pay his passage. He first located in one of the Carolinas, and operated for a time as agent of the London Mining Company. Upon leaving the south he settled in Pennsylvania, and there gained additional knowledge in regard to this industry. The mother of our subject was in her girlhood, Miss Sarah Wilde, a native of Yorkshire, England. She came with her parents to America in her youth, and they settled among the earliest pioneers of Dubuque County, Iowa, where John Wilde spent the remainder of his days. Mrs. Leekley, the mother of our subject, is still living, and is now sixty-six years old. She is a very intelligent lady, and one possessing all the Christian virtues. She, like her husband, identified herself with the Presbyterian Church years ago. They are the parents of a large family of children, several of whom died in infancy. Four are yet living. James F. married Miss Mary Leekley carried on farming a number of years, but is now living in Galena; Thomas M. is unmarried and makes his home with his mother: John M., our subject, is the next in point of years; Mary is the wife of J. G. McKibbins, and they reside at Englewood, a beautiful suburb of Chicago; Mr. McKibbins being connected with the American Express Company. The common schools furnished to our subject his rudimentary education, and later he entered the State Normal school, where he completed his studies. Upon leaving school he entered a law office, and not long afterward the present partnershp was formed. Mr. Leekley was married to one of the most estimable young ladies of his native city, Miss Annie E. Gelston. Mrs. Leekley, like her husband, is of English decent, and the daughter of L. G. and Isabelle (Townsend) Gelston. Mr. Gelston for a number of years before his death operated as a commission merchant in the interests of Harlow, Gelston & Co., of St. Louis, Mo. He died at his home in Galena in August, 1876. Here his widow has since made her home, being now about fifty years old, and a lady very intelligent, one who numbers her friends by the score. Mr. Gelston was a practical business man, usually successful in his enterprises, and a member in good standing of the First Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Leekley was educated in St. Louis, Mo., where she made her home
until the death of her father. She has inherited the good qualities of both
parents and is a lady held in high esteem in her community. Of this union
there are two children, Eugene G. and Robert T. Mrs.
Leekley is a member in good standing of the First Presbyterian Church.
Our subject, politically, is a staunch Republican, and socially is identified
with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Blue Lodge and Chapter, in which
he has held the various offices; also Miner Lodge No. 273, in which he is
Senior Warden. He has a neat and convenient office, fully equipped with all
the documents necessary to the successful practice of his profession, and
being a close student, it is predicted that in the near future he will make
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess County, Illinois (1889)